Avia Pinot Grigio (Slovenia) 2002
I didn’t even know Slovenia made wine, let alone exported it to the U.S. But, given their proximity to Italy, I shouldn’t have been surprised that they made a pinot grigio.
Rating: 2 I like pinot grigios and this one was priced so low (on sale for around $4) that it was impossible to resist picking up a bottle. Although made from the same grape as chardonays, pinot grigios tend to be less dry and a bit fruiter. The Avia was an exception on both counts. Indeed, this wine is more reminiscent of a chablis jug wine than any pinot grigio I’ve tried before. Fortunately, I only bought the one bottle.
See this post for the scale and methodology.
While I like whites with a bit more fruity taste (ala Reisling and Peisporters), I’ll take your advice. I like red wines quite a bit and would recommend one of my favorites: Gabianno Chianti 2002, or even the Gabianno Classico Chianti 1999 as great budget reds with a perfect balance of tanin-to-sweet. It may not quite hit your budget (it varies from 8.99-12.49). Worth a try if you come upon it.
Pinot Grigio’s have never been a favorite of mine, nice as a summer picnic drink on occasion but not much more to them. The Italian’s have gotten much better recently but they are still not much more then a pleasant drink. If you are looking for good, cheap white try some of the below $10 Australian Chardonnays. They quality level is very high, my personal favorite and my house white is the Lindemann’s Bin 65 which you can get for under $6 if you shop around. I’ve been drinking it for at least 10 years and it is not only very high quality for a wine of that price but it is amazingly consistent from year to year.
Other inexpensive whites worth exploring are dry rieslings and gewurztraminers from California and Australia. They are seriously underappreciated by the public at large (as are the more serious desert versions), and are easily the equal of Chardonnay. They also pair better with spicy food, especially curries, than any other wine. If you want to try a great, world class Gewurztraminer (for world class money) try some of the great Alsatians (Zind Humbrecht, Marcel Deiss). Trimbach and Hugel also make very nice bottles under $20. Very good California Gewurz include Beringer, Martinelli, Fetzer, all inexpensive.