Guest Post by Amanda Schuster
Pinot Grigio is a go-to, easy-drinking white for many American wine drinkers. But its cousin from the same region, Pinot Bianco, from Italy’s Alto Adige, is not as well known in this country. It should be. It’s wrong to say one is “better” than the other, but let’s just say it’s fun to drink something different for a change.
I recently tried a little experiment: A friend wanted to get together for dinner and wine, but it can be a little challenging with her because she only drinks whites. And she’s a pescetarian. Not only that, she doesn’t like certain veggies, like peppers. So pepper-less pizza is an easy option, but white wine doesn’t really go with it. Or does it?
We tried two Pinot Biancos: Tiefenbrunner 2010 and Terlan Vorberg Riserva 2008. The Terlan is a rich, aromatic style with warm fruit flavors while the Tiefenbrunner is light and zingy, the floral notes not as pronounced. We paired these with an arugula, radish and carrot salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette and a pizza with garlic and black olives.
Salads are near impossible to match since the vinaigrette usually cancels out the wine. However, the when I got a bit of radish and then sipped the Tiefenbrunner, it actually worked! The Terlan, eh, not so much. But that’s forgiveable since most things wouldn’t.
The pizza was another story. The Terlan went particularly well when sipped after an olive-laden bite. Its richness was a good base for those flavors. But the Tiefenbrunner did also! The natural acidity of the tomatoes and the sharpness of the cheese and garlic matched the tang of the wine beautifully. Both wines also responded well to the outer crust of the pizza, the Terlan because of its yeastiness and the Tiefenbrunner when tomato sauce migrated to its very outer edges.
Pinot Bianco, great to have on hand for your next pizza takeout dinner! Good to know, especially as the warmer months draw nearer and we look toward more chilled quaffs.
Amanda Schuster is a wine and spirits writer, marketer and consultant. She is a freelance wine content writer at Snooth and is a regular cocktail contributor to The Spir.it. One might say she’s bi-spiritual. She is also an avid food enthusiast, hates mayonnaise and the word “foodie,” and sometimes finds time to make jewelry. Follow her @winenshine.