With the festive wine-drinker’s holiday of Purim now behind us, and the more solemn but freedom-lover’s and wine-drinker’s Passover approaching (no worries, we’ll do a Passover-themed Decanter next time), we turn our attention to lighter, brighter and crisper wines as the weather warms.
The 2017 Cantine del Borgo Reale Pinot Grigio ($12-$14) allows me to imagine I’m poolside at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, even if I am just sipping it in my home-based oversized bathtub — a sort of Calgon moment, if you will.
Before you ask, yes, Pinot Grigio is the same varietal as Pinot Gris, though the former is Italian and the latter is from Alsace, and the typical styles differ in taste, as well.
Cantine del Borgo Reale is a brand, not a winery, and is a kosher line produced for the American wine importer, Allied Importers USA, Ltd., of New York. For the Borgo Reale line, Allied contracts with wine producers in Italy to create this private label. The Cantine del Borgo Reale line also includes a Brunello, Chianti, Chianti Reserva, Rose, Maturo, Pinot Noir, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo and a Dolcezza.
Our Pinot Grigio hails from Puglia, Italy. Puglia can be found in the heel in Italy’s boot and is surrounded by water on three sides. The seaside topography, featuring hot sunshine and cool Mediterranean breezes, provides Puglia with its own microclimate. The region is responsible for almost half of Italy’s olive oil production and is known for its food and wallet-friendly wines.
Tasting Notes & Pairings
The 2017 Cantina del Borgo Reale Pinot Grigio is pale gold and straw-colored, with a lovely nose of citrus and mineral. The bone dry mouth shows brilliant acidity, a hallmark of Pinot Grigio, with lemon and tart Granny Smith apple and saline minerality. This wine is best served very cold (remember my suggestion to partake poolside?). Due to that lighter flavor profile and wonderful acidity, it pairs beautifully with many light veggie, fish or dairy dishes. I particularly enjoy this Pinot Grigio with ahi tuna poke bowls, filled to the brim with lightly-seasoned raw ahi, fresh avocado, raw Portobello, Persian cucumbers and spring strawberries.
This mevushal wine is a great choice to serve at all summer functions with its cheap sticker price, accessibility and ability to pair well with all types of light food.
Dr. Kenneth Friedman is a Baltimore-born kosher wine aficionado/connoisseur. He is known for his unsolicited wine advice and runs many local kosher wine tastings.