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Wine Advisor Express:
Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio

Enough serious stuff! Today, let's cut right to the tasting notes, with my report on a recent "blind tasting" match between a bargain-priced Italian Pinot Grigio and an Oregon Pinot Gris. (Yes, despite the translation, it's the same grape.)

Kris Kris 2000 Pinot Grigio delle Venezie ($8.99)
This clear, straw-color wine from Northeastern Italy shows light, fresh tropical-fruit aromas in the glass, kiwi and starfruit and a distant hint of banana. Tropical fruit carries over to the palate in a dry, clean and crisp flavor that's more subtly delicate than forward, adding hints of wool and almonds as it warms in the glass. It's an appealing wine at a very reasonable price. U.S. importer: Winebow Inc., NYC. (Sept. 15, 2001)

IMPORTER'S WEBSITE: http://www.winebow.com/,
with a page about Kris at http://www.winebow.com/italy/trentino_altoadige/franzhaas.htm.

Chehalem Chehalem 2000 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris ($15.99)
Hailing from Oregon in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, where Pinot Gris is emerging as the perfect match with the regional salmon, this light straw-colored wine shows a faint bronze hue in the glass. Simple vinous aromas are fresh but shy; the wine is faintly prickly on the tongue and shows faint sweetness on first tasting and a slight bitterness in the finish. Best quite cold, it loses focus as it warms, turning soft and more perceptibly sweet. (Although the winery's spec sheets indicate only a "threshold" level of sugar in the wine, its unusually high alcohol level, almost 14 percent, may enhance this perception.) Good for washing down food, but in side-by-side competition with the Italian white at half its price, it's not much of a contender. (Sept. 15, 2001)

WINERY WEBSITE: http://www.chehalemwines.com.
For a spec sheet on this specific wine, click to http://www.chehalemwines.com/wine/gris_note_fr.html.

FOOD MATCH: Pinot Gris/Grigio is a food wine, and both wines showed well with a simple Chinese congee (jook), a comforting porridge of long-cooked rice with chicken and lots of scallions, ginger and garlic.

Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund
We are supporting, and urge you to support, the "Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund" established by the reputable importer Michael Skurnik Wines on behalf of the survivors of the restaurant workers killed in last week's World Trade Center disaster.

You'll find more information, and our secure credit-card payment page for this fund, at http://www.wineloverspage.com/windows, along with postal address information for the Fund if you prefer to send a check.

I hope you will give this effort your serious consideration. It is a worthy cause, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go directly to the families that need help.

Administrivia
This is Wine Advisor Express, daily edition of The 30 Second Wine Advisor, distributed Tuesdays through Fridays. For archives of previous articles, and to read more about wine, visit Wine Lovers' Page, http://www.wineloverspage.com.

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Thursday, Sept. 20, 2001
Copyright 2001 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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