Good Value at the Wine Rack Store

Call me shallow, but my latest taste-test sits on my desk because the bottle was irresistable. The Dunavar Pinot Gris 2010 from South Africa is stunningly packaged. Clearly, design has an impact.

Picture this: you’re planning a picnic one fine late -pring day. Your wine rack is a bit light, and you know that it should be re-populated with whites owing to the time of year. Maybe a Pinot Gris or Chardonnay should accompany the picnic fixings. Otherwise, you have no specific notion as to which country to visit during this retail operation.

Something from the South African section catches your eye; a green and white checked bottle topped by a  bright silver screw top. The pastel shade of green is fringed with grass between which blades a small butterfly flutters. Such a charming picture cannot stay on the shelf.

The price might give you pause – less than $10. Didn’t a sommelier tell you to beware cheap wine? Pah. Being a rebel is fun, and soon that cheerful bottle sits in a basket surrounded by ice packs and fruit.

Sound appealing? It should. Your fears about cheap wine are unfounded here. This pale yellow Pinot Gris from Dunavar offers aromas of citrus and green apple. Sip some, and there is follow-through from both, plus that slightly bitter quality of grapefruit. A subtly crisp edge adds liveliness to a slight cabbage-y tinge which adds body but is not unpleasant. Strangely, in spite of cooling in the refrigerator for several hours, the flavors needed no time to emerge.  I didn’t taste the ‘cold’ at all. Beneath citrus and cabbage is a touch of breakway honey that stands alone. Enjoy a smooth finish worthy of casual sipping without food. On the other hand, pair your white with a light pasta salad filled with peppers and mild cheeses and your picnic is complete.

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