Jeff’s Corner

Hey, Hey, Hey, Here We Go Again…

So, what does it mean when someone says, “I’m a Pinot fan!” Are they talking about Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio? Well, who knows.

The Pinot clan is a large family of grapes that also includes Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier, and lesser known cousins like Pinot Auxerrois, Pinot Teinturier, and Pinot Gouges. Obviously, there’s lots of Pinot envy everywhere!

Pinot Noir, however, is indeed the Daddy, with the rest of these being mutations and not crosses between two varieties. It appears Pinot Noir’s DNA is quite unstable.

Somehow, all of this brings us to the new 2018 GCV Pinot Grigio. Pinot Grigio (also called Pinot Gris) is a color mutation of Pinot Noir, other than the color of the skins there is very little difference in their DNA. Pinot refers to the pine cone shape of the clusters, and grigio (grey) refers to the color of the skins.

The 2018 (just released on the tasting bar) continues Jason’s trend of producing delightfully crisp and clean Pinot Grigios that exhibit much more fruit than is typically associated with this grape. The color is a bright, very pale yellow with a crystal clear rim and a quaffable ABV of 12.4%.

The aromas are aggressively tropical and show lots of pineapple, banana, lemon, lime, tangerine, and melon. There is an undercurrent of butterscotch that adds an intriguing complexity.

The palate has a lively texture featuring brisk acidity that is well-integrated with the fruit to yield a bright, pristine finish. This wine is made for summer!

I tasted this last Tuesday and knew I’d be a hero if I paired shrimp scamp with it for Kathy when she got home from work. This is a super simple dish yet very elegant. I served it with garlic bread and an ice cold wedge salad with bacon, crumbled Gorgonzola, and blue cheese dressing. I haven’t shared this recipe in a while, so here you go.

    1 bottle Grape Creek Pinot Grigio
    4-6 oz clam juice
    3/4 lb 16-20 count shrimp, peeled and deveined
    4 oz sugar snap or snow 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 or fettuccine, cooked al dente


    Sauté 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 4 oz 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 over pasta.