Say "Italian white wine" and almost everyone will say "Pinot Grigio."
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Most Pinot Grigio, Italian or otherwise, is to wine what Bud Lite is to beer -- watery, tasteless, insipid stuff made for people whose palates cringe at the thought of anything with, you know, flavor. So, instead, next time somebody says "Italian white wine," say "Orvieto." Or more specifically, Antinori Campogrande 2008 Orvieto.
Orvieto is one of Italy's better known white wine-producing appellations, located in the regions of Umbria and Lazio. The Antinori is a blend of Grechetto, Procanico and Malvasia Bianca, whose pale golden color belies a seductive richness with a palate-cleansing crispness. On the nose there's green apple, lemon-lime and melon, but on the palate it's a mouth-filling mélange of tropical fruit, citrus and apple, with a fine lemony finish.
There's a lot going on with this wine for a very reasonable $10, all the more reason to say "Orvieto" instead of "Blech."