Jeff’s Corner

Its hard to believe that it has been almost three years since “P” Grigio hit his legendary walk-off home run in game seven of the Grapevine League World Series. (See Jeff’s Corner 10-18-13) He crushed the ball to the upper-deck in left field of Cluster Park to give our beloved Grape Creek Clusters their first pennant at the expense of the hated Napa Valley Nobodies.

Off the field, “PP” has many monikers. In Alsace, he is known as Pinot Gris, while in Germany he goes as Rulander or Grauburgunder (grey burgundy). We know him best from northeast Italy where he hangs out in Veneto and Trentino as Pinot Grigio.

So, all this brings us to the exciting new Grape Creek 2015 Pinot Grigio. Almost to it, anyway. First, a little more info about this extremely old grape variety.

Modern day Pinot Grigio dates back to the middle ages in Burgundy, where it was most likely known as Fromenteau. It was a color mutation of Pinot Noir, and aside from color they have extremely similar DNA. “Pinot” means pine cone, and is a reference to the shape of the clusters. In the 1300s it was taken to Switzerland, and later to Alsace, Italy, and Germany.

Well, it’s hard to believe but Jason, Marcello, Julian, Dave, and Eric have made me a big fan of what I used to condescendingly refer to as “the light beer of the wine world”. It started with the 2014, which I liked a lot. The ’15 I like a whole lot.

The 2015 Pinot is a pale yellow with striking clarity. Dominant aromas of Mandarin orange create a foundation for hints of pineapple, cantaloupe, pear, and banana. The nose is intricate in a subtle way, and leads to a bright, refreshing palate.

The flavor is tart and crisp, like a fresh tropical fruit daiquiri. At a colder temp (40-45 degrees) it shows lots of lemon-lime, but when it warmed a bit more it took me back to the Dreamscicles of my youth and created a much rounder mouth feel with a well-balanced, slightly acidic finish.

Kathy and I really enjoyed this delightful wine with a super simple shrimp scampi. In case you missed it, here’s the recipe from Jeff’s Corner 10-27-15.

By the way, the first person that can tell me which Napa Valley Nobody threw the gopher ball to P will win a free, lifetime membership to the Jeff’s Corner Fan Club. If you win, please send 100 buckaroos to me for processing your membership. Thanks!


1 bottle Grape Creek Pinot Grigio
4 oz clam juice
1 lb 16-20 count shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 oz sugar snap peas
6 Tbsp butter
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
Juice from 1 lemon (no seeds) and lemon wedges for garnish
Italian seasoning to taste
4-6 oz linguine, cooked al dente


Sauté snap peas in 4 Tbsp butter and garlic over medium high heat until crisp/tender, then season with Italian seasoning.
Add 4 oz Pinot Grigio and clam juice. Reduce slightly. Drink the rest of the wine now and with dinner.
Add shrimp and cook until they curl into a u shape, become opaque, and are slightly firm. Don’t overcook!
Incorporate the remaining 2 Tbsp butter into the sauce to thicken, and finish with the lemon juice.
Serve immediately in a pasta bowl over hot linguine