Pinot Gris: Oregon’s Second Wine

Pinot Gris is a very food-friendly wine, whether in its more austere Italian style, or the New World fruit forward style.

Old World Pinot Grigio can almost veer into Sauvignon Blanc territory with its crisp lemony appeal. It goes great with seafood, especially oysters and clams, as well as tomatoes and chicken with buttery sauces.

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Oregon Pinot Gris with its richer taste goes well with summer grilling, especially white fish and salmon and can take on a little spice from a marinade or rub. It pairs especially well with hazelnuts, another famed Oregon export – try a salad with your favorite greens, chopped toasted hazelnuts, red onion slices and smoked scallops – fantastic!

Oregon Pinot Gris usually scores well in the Pacific Coast Oyster Wine competition, held each year with Washington’s own Taylor Farms Kumamoto oysters. The lucky judges compare how each submitted wine compliments the sweet little oysters. Each year after the results are posted, my friends and I do our own tasting to ensure the judge’s accuracy. We buy three of the best wines, a bucketful of oysters and settle in for a lively, briny debate. Our event is this weekend, and I’ve already reserved my oysters from the Pike Place Market. It’s one of our favorite parties of the year, and easy to do. If you’re not up for cracking your own oysters, go ahead and try a Pinot Grigio the next time you’re at your favorite seafood restaurant. It’s a refreshing combination, one that just might hook you!

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