Too Good to Miss: Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio 2009
I know that lots of people enjoy Pinot Grigio, but I don’t — at least not usually. I agree with Karen McNeil, who writes in The Wine Bible, “... Many Pinot Grigios are about as exciting as tap water....” But delicious Pinot Grigios do exist, and I’m always surprised and delighted when I happen upon one, which I did recently.
Ruffino’s Lumina Pinot Grigio 2009 is quite a discovery. It’s not only the best Pinot Grigio I’ve tasted in a long time, but, with a suggested retail price of $9.99, it’s also a terrific bargain. Lumina boasts plenty of character, personality, bouquet and flavor. It’s a medium-bodied wine, crisp, well balanced, fragrant and fruity. The aroma is chockful of enticing floral notes, with citrus, apple, green plum and pear flavors; some even detect a touch of pineapple.
The current CEOs of Ruffino, Adolfo and Luigi Folinari, belong to a family that’s been in the wine business since the 1700s. They’ve undertaken a significant upgrading in the past eight years — $72 million worth — and the wines reflect the improvements.
Ruffino has seven estates in Tuscany, and is best known for its Chiantis and Chianti Classicos — especially the Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale — and other red wines. As the Lumina Pinot Grigio shows, they do a fine job with whites too at their Borgo Conventi Estate in Friuli Venezia Giulia in northern Italy, where the family’s roots are.
Serving suggestions: Pinot Grigio is a fine apéritif, and is generally paired with salads, antipasto, fish, shellfish, chicken, pork, and vegetable and seafood pastas. Ruffino recommends this Lumina with soft shell crabs, grilled fish, pasta primavera, grilled chicken, and ethnic dishes including Mexican enchiladas, Greek dolmas and Thai green curries.
© 2010 Sharon Kapnick for SeniorWomen.com