The holiday season is fast approaching. That usually means family gatherings and large sit down meals with family and friends. While others are planning on what to cook and serve their guests, I am left to think about what to serve or suggest to others for the beverage portion of the evening.
Wines have always played an important role in holiday meals. When going to someone’s house for a get together, there is no better gift to bring than a nice bottle of wine. But what to bring ? Everyone has different tastes, but there are a few choices that are can’t miss: a wine that will accompany the foods of the season, or a wine that is recognizable to the recipient. There is nothing worse than bringing a bottle to someone for a meal and getting that blank stare back, as they wonder, “what is this that you have brought me ?”. This is not a time for experiments or imposing a favorite of yours on other people, this is a time of tradition.
Pinot Grigio, already Italy’s number one white wine, has been rising in popularity all around the world. It is now recognized as the third best selling white varietal in the world, behind Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Since the year 2000, plantings of the grape have doubled or tripled in new world countries like the United States, Argentina, Australia, and Canada. As recently as the 1980’s, when Italian Pinot Grigio was initially introduced to the U.S., there were only a dozen or so types of Pinot Grigio available to the American consumer. Now, however, there are over 600 varieties from all over the world.. The amount of production in a new found, crowded marketplace make it very possible to find a very decent Pinot Grigio in the $8-$15 range.
Santa Margherita, produced in the Northern Italian region of Alto Adige, is a pale straw colored wine. Upon opening, you are greeted by a clean aroma followed by dry citrus flavor with a refreshing apple aftertaste. It is a simple wine, yet sophisticated. Light and crisp, this is a better wine when served with food. On its own it tends to come across as too dry. Ideal with a number of foods, Pinot Grigio is excellent with light pasta, seafood, and poultry dishes. It will also stand up well to the onion, garlic, herb and high fat side dishes associated with the holidays.
Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio is the standard by which all other Pinot Grigios are judged. It is the most respected and recognized brand on the market. While it is a little more expensive than its competitors, (found online from $17.99-$21.99) keep in mind you are paying for brand recognition and elegance. This is the wine to bring when you want to impress. Whether you bring it to the family dinner table, or if it is a gift for a friend or your boss, this wine will not disappoint.