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Best Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio, which is a classic Italian grape, is commonly grown in France, Italy, and the New World.  In France and the New World, it can also go by the name Pinot Gris. These grapes are genetically similar to Pinot Noir grapes, and are believed to be a genetic mutation. Though it wasn't a particularly popular wine a few years ago, over the last decade it has gained considerable popularity and is a great alternative to overly acidic Sauvignon Blanc or rich Chardonnay.

Typically, Pinot Grigios are delicate wines that can be clean and dry or fruit-forward. Dry, crisp Pinot Grigios are produced by harvesting the grapes early, before the sugars are able to fully develop, while off-dry, fruity Pinots are produced by leaving the grapes on the vines for a little extra time. This varietal is known for complex aromatics that often include tropical fruit and white flowers, and a delicate taste with notes of fresh fruit. The acidity is usually fairly high, though less pronounced in sweeter wines, especially on the finish.

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Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio

Trentino, Italy is famous for producing some of the world's best Pinot Grigio and one of our favorites to come out of this region is Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. This is a non-vintage wine that's a favorite for its classic style and great consistency. The winemakers at Santa Margherita have been making Pinot Grigio since 1961, and have perfected the art of crafting a crisp, clean wine. Though it's made from gray grapes that could lend a touch of rose coloration to the wine, this one is a perfectly light straw yellow. This wine has an incredibly fragrant bouquet and a clean, acidic flavor that allows it to pair well with seafood and other light meals. Since this is an incredibly popular wine, it's also relatively easy to find at both specialty wine shops and large grocery or liquor stores.

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Luisi Pinot Grigio

Made in northern Italy, where Pinot Grigio got its name, Luisi Pinot Grigio is one of the best around. This wine has scored in the high 80's and low 90's with professional critics and embodies all the best qualities of this soft, subtle wine. It features notes of tropical fruit and flowers, with just a touch of sweet nectarine on the finish. Since there is a little bit of residual sugar in this wine, it's not as dry as many other Pinot Grigios. This makes it the ideal counterpart to a spicy curry dish.

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Duck Pond Cellars Pinot Gris

Hands down, Duck Pond Cellars Pinot Gris is one of the best Pinots. It performed very well in competitions, receiving no less than a dozen awards, including the Gold Medal at the 2013 San Francisco International Wine Competition. This wine is crisp and clean on the palate, with a bold nose of tropical fruit and flowers. It's a little on the acidic side, which makes it ideal for serving with shellfish. Most of the batch is fermented in steel, which brings out the subtleties of the grapes, while a small portion is fermented in oak to give the wine greater complexity and more body. This wine is best served chilled, though it's much better if it's not ice cold.

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Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

Our favorite Pinot Grigio that's sold for under $20 comes from Willamette Valley. This wine has won a number of awards, including the Silver Medal at the Oregon Wine Awards. This wine has crisp flavors of anise and lemongrass, and a rich aroma with notes of pear, honeysuckle, and toasted almond. The acidity is well-balanced, with a tartness that doesn't overwhelm the sweeter notes. The finish is bright, crisp, and quite light. Though this is a soft, delicate wine, it's bold enough to stand up to a couple years in the cellar.

Clos du Bois Pinot Grigio

Clos du Bois Pinot Grigio

One of California's most well-known wineries produces an excellent Pinot Grigio at a great price. Clos du Bois Pinot Grigio is one of our Best Picks because it's delicate, complex, and a great deal. This wine has notes of citrus, mineral, and white fruit. It's crisp and very dry, with a high acidity that's makes it ideal with seafood dishes.

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Settecieli Pinot Grigio

A favorite with wine enthusiasts and wine critics, Settecieli Pinot Grigio is an excellent, incredibly crisp wine. From the Umbria region of Italy, this wine has been crafted using traditional Italian techniques that have made this varietal popular around the world. It's aged in steel and taken off the skins immediately, allowing the qualities of grapes to shine through. There's not much fruit to this wine, just a little hint of apple. Instead, it features strong flavors of stone. This minerality makes it perfect to pair with shellfish. Since this is such a clean, crisp wine, it can be hard to pick out the subtle flavors so be sure not to serve it too cold.

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