Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris 2011


I said it in my first post and I meant it: you CAN get really great wine with a screw top!

For the bottle-opener impaired, I bring you the Mt Beautiful Pinot Gris—a fantastic New Zealand white. Now, since all seven of you have committed my previous blog posts to memory, I don’t need to remind you that I’m a bit picky about white wines. I don’t, as a rule (or a guideline, I suppose), enjoy the drier ones. This wine is different.  It surprised me from start to finish.

I hope none of the anonymous people
in this photo are angry that I used it here...

First the smell: New Year’s Eve, before midnight. That is to say, the Mt Beautiful Pinot smelled like champagne. I also smelled the alcohol; to me, it brought back images of wiping the excess polish off of my hastily painted fingernails with a Sally-Hansen-covered Q-tip. A little nail polish remover never hurt anyone, right?
Thankfully, the Mt Beautiful doesn’t taste like nail polish remover, although the alcohol smell does translate into its flavor, and no wonder—it’s 14.5%.  If you’re strictly a wine drinker, you’ll notice right away; if you generally prefer liquor, this won’t be a quality that'll much impress you. However be aware that this one could pack a punch.
Drunk-texters beware!

Besides being able to easily taste the alcohol content, this wine dealt a few other surprises—depending on what I ate, the flavors changed. After a bite of salad with ranch dressing, it was smooth and fruit-salad flavored. Maybe that sounds generic, but I detected many fruits in there: apple, pear, peach, perhaps some grapefruit and pineapple. After a bite of lemon-pepper chicken it was like drinking an entirely different wine. Much spicier and a little bitter, much of the fruit flavors were no longer detectable. As fun as it was to try and guess what flavors would present themselves depending on what I ate, I eventually went back to my salad; it paired best with the wine.

Hands down the best part of drinking the Mt Beautiful Pinot Gris was how varied it was; besides the chameleon-like flavors, it reads on your tongue like an EKG—there’s a definite spike toward the middle of the sip, where the flavor hits hardest before fading again.

So kids, today’s takeaways for the Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris:

Tastes like desert animals AND electrocardiograms
Avoid lemon pepper marinade
Screwcaps= YAY!!

Don’t forget you can try it yourself on Friday 7/6 at Personal Wine Cellar. See you there?

Price: $$

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