Varietal: 100% Pinot Grigio
Region: California – USA
Cost: $10 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: It was another long and cool year in California and we were forced to wait patiently until these grapes were ready to pick. All this has guaranteed that The Birdman is once again a plump avian, round and full and quite unlike his Italian kin. Its depth shown through a long and full nose of citrus fruits, a round, soft palate replete with grapefruit, honeydew, and melon and a touch of acidity on the finish that leaves one quenched. Pairs well with goat cheese pancetta and arugula pizza, Thai chicken with basil, smoked trout, estoufee, grilled jumbo shrimp, spaghetti and clam sauce, or sunny afternoons.
My Review: It’s unfair to start any review of the current line-up of Big House wines by not pointing out how much I appreciate them having fun with their marketing and labels. With food we eat with our eyes before our mouths, but with wine sometimes an interesting label can make the difference between a purchase and a pass. Enough with the marketing talk, how about that wine?
On the nose of the wine I got citrus and melon, which was to be expected, and in the mouth the flavors carried through with the citrus leading into a soft, almost banana finish that was actually quite enjoyable. The wine was crisp, refreshing, and approachable, something that I’ve come to appreciate from the Big House wines. With our dinner it was another story.
My wife and I made a dinner of wheat pasta with chicken and a sun-dried tomato cream sauce. The dinner was tasty if simple. The wine did not compliment the food. It should be said that before and after, we loved the wine, and that this is more an issue of our pairing selection than the wines, but that’s part of life, and I would be remiss not to warn anybody buying this wine (which you should) to avoid a similar pairing as it was just a bit off, the flavors of the wine and the food clashing in a way that wasn’t enjoyable.
All that being said, we simply avoided drinking the wine while we finished up our dinner and then simply took the bottle into the other room to enjoy while watching some evening television, which is sometimes better than a food-pairing anyways.