2014 Pinot Grigio shootout: Jermann vs. Albino Armani

31 05 2014

Today we compare two Italian pinot grigios.  They are THE most expensive ‘grigios I could find at Total Wine.  Jermann (2011) is $27; Albino Armani Colle Ara “1607” (2012) is $20.

When I first opened these, I thought this shootout was going to be easy because the Albino Armani was much better than the Jermann, and obviously much less expensive.  However, as I tasted both wines over a period of two days with various food, it became obvious Read the rest of this entry »





Francis Ford Coppola Bianco pinot grigio at Bertucci’s

16 05 2012

Continuing with our experience at Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant, today we review a 2010 pinot grigio from California that Bertucci’s sells for $7.50 a glass / $29 a bottle.  It was paired with their Cod al Forno main course.
 
Here’s a pinot grigio that mostly flies under the radar.  With such a light aroma that I can’t even describe it, Francis Ford Coppola’s Bianco pinot grigio hits your tongue with crisp grapefruit, tangy lime, and a hint of melon sweetness.  That hint of melon makes it more substantial than many other pinot grigios, but might also turn you off if you were expecting a typical, super-light pinot grigio. 
 
It was paired with Bertucci’s Cod al Forno, which is a piping-hot breaded wild Pacific cod baked with marinated tomatoes, and roasted red potatoes.  This dish is delicious and is a healthier go-to when you’re hankering for fish & chips.  Pairing with Coppola’s pinot grigio was a nice balance, as you would expect the acidity of the white wine to balance the breaded baked fish, but — surprise — the hint of sweetness really made it for me.  Coppola’s pinot grigio is:
 
Francis Ford Coppola Bianco Pinot GrigioRecommended.





Wines at Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant

7 05 2012

This kicks off a series that will review various popular wines that are sold at Bertucci’s.  These brick oven-style Italian restaurants on the east coast have a warm, modern atmosphere, open kitchen and a “dim the lights” feeling of class.   
 
Manager Chad Phillips and culinary manager Michael Cropper in Christiana, Delaware treated us to their newest dishes (excellent) and wines (very good or excellent, for the price, with one exception).  The evening was gratis, but I returned to buy each wine on its own. 

In every case, the food improved the wine experience.  In one case, the pairing caused a so-so wine to become downright enjoyable.  Read on to learn which.
 
The pairings:

  • Rodney Strong chardonnay (Sonoma CA, 2010), with Watermelon, Arugula & Feta Salad
  • Francis Ford Coppola “Rosso” (CA, 2010), with Eggplant Napoleone
  • Chateau Ste Michelle merlot (Columbia Valley WA, 2007), with Garlic & Herb Roasted Mushrooms, and Warm Assorted Olives
  • Francis Ford Coppola Bianco pinot grigio (CA, 2010), with Cod al Forno
  • J. Lohr “Seven Oaks” cabernet sauvignon (Paso Robles CA, 2009), with Piccolo Chocolate Budino




Fall from Grace? Two Awesome White Wines Stumble in 2010

15 06 2011

Hi, how are you?  I’m good but — well, there are some things I should tell you.

I wildly recommended the 2009 Tiefenbrunner pinot grigio, in this humdinger of a review right here.  I stand by that review, but I have to say, the 2010 is not as good.  It’s OK, but a bit lifeless, and I am just not digging it.

Second, for years now, I’ve been telling everybody how great and low-priced Nobilo sauvignon blanc is.  (My fawning review of the 2009 is here.)  At $11, it consistently tastes like a $20-ish wine.  Well, the 2010 ain’t so hot.  It’s lost some of that bursting-with-citrus magic.  Coincidentally, it now sells at Total Wine for the absurdly low price of $7.47.

I am confident that Nobilo 2011 will stage a complete comeback.

Tiefenbrunner, I’m not as sure about, because I only got to know it last year.  I am very hopeful that it will return to its 2009 glory days as well.

Until then, these charmers are “Not recommended.”  Cheers,

Wineguider





Ca’ Montini pinot grigio review

13 04 2011

Today, we review a 2009 Italian pinot grigio that cost me $19.

Folks, Ca’ Montini is serious.  It is less sweet than many other pinot grigios, so it is less “fun”.  But it’s good, some might say, extremely good.  Dry, minerally, citrusy, and balanced.  However, I just didn’t find that it was delicious enough to merit a price of $19.  But this one is close — you might love it.  Unfortunately, for your Wineguider, this elegant Italian is:

Not recommended.





Tiefenbrunner pinot grigio review: WOW

13 03 2011

Today we review a 2009 pinot grigio from Italy that will cost you $14 at Total Wine.

OK, this Italian white wine with the German-sounding name is absolutely delicious.  It comes from the northernmost parts of Italy, bordering not Germany, but Austria.  Clean, fun, a dash of minerality on your tongue, full of crisp, juicy citrus and honeydew flavors, with a gentle aroma of pears.  Wow.  I haven’t compared it directly to the very nice $15 Bolini, which I reviewed here, but I think Tiefenbrunner might be even better. 

Tiefenbrunner is also better than the delectable value champion Lagaria pinot grigio, reviewed here.  It should be better, since Lagaria is only $9.  Is Tiefenbrunner worth the extra $5?  Yes.  But it’s a close call.  Lagaria still gives more joy-per-dollar.  If you are throwing a party, go with Lagaria.  No-brainer.  But if it’s a special dinner with just the two of you, I’d recommend Tiefenbrunner.  Or Bolini.  Both, also no-brainers. 

Tiefenbrunner pinot grigio reviewThis pinot grigio is: 

Highly recommended.





Bollini pinot grigio review – HELP!

30 11 2010

Today we review a $15 white wine from Italy, the Bollini “Trentino” pinot grigio.

Hi!  I’d really like to give you a helpful review of this pinot grigio.  The only problem is, I can’t stop drinking it.  So I am a bit inebriated.  It’s just too perfect.  Classic.  Gorgeous.  Bright, minerally, fun, smooth citrus flavors combine with a very faint hint of sweetness and just a slightly creamy texture to give you a OH WHO CARES, WHERE’S THE OTHER BOTTLES?  NOW! HURRY!!

I opened this bottle on a Monday night when I was alone, and 3/4 of it was INSTANTLY ELIMINATED.  Meanwhile, I was watching this video review online.  Bravo!  They got it right. 

Bollini Trentino is not going to transport you to Wine Nirvana, but it’s a seemingly perfect example of this grape, and it’s SO good, SO reliable, and SO damn fun that you will have a hard time finding a better pinot grigio.  There!  I said it.  That was a controversial statement.  So if you have a different favorite pinot grigio,  please let me know in a comment.  Or if you want me to stop writing reviews while I am shitfaced on pinot grigio, please let me know in a comment.  Until then, Bollini pinot grigio is:

Bollini pinot grigio review

 HIGHLY recommended!