2005 Meridian Pinot Grigio
It’s the off-season, time to save a little money and think ahead to snowier days. So let us talk of a nice, cheap white wine that is easy to find and easy to drink. The 2005 Meridian Pinot Grigio is a dry white from a huge company (Foster’s Group), and that is just fine. The price stays around $10 on the shelf, and the high production insures year-round availability. The Italian pinot grigio surge from last year spawned many Californian wineries to start bottling this wine, or at least change the name on their label from the French ‘pinot gris’ to the more popular ‘pinot grigio’. In California, ‘pinot gris’ usually implies an elegant, grapefruity, floral wine, and ‘pinot grigio’ implies a dry, lemon-limey, crisp wine. The Meridian is nice and crisp, fairly light, and has nice lime flavors. No oak ageing means a clean finish, with just a touch of mineral and grapefruit to keep you interested. Just drink this refreshing white, or have it with light seafood dishes, fried chicken, or a Caesar salad.
Winemaker Chuck Ortman started the Meridian label in 1984, using Napa Valley fruit the first few years. In 1988, Beringer-Blass invested in the winery, which allowed Mr. Ortman to relocate to the cooler Paso Robles area and increase production. The label is painted by Patrick McFarlin.
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