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Cheap Wine That Doesn't Suck

Pinot Grigio is the cream of wheat of the wine world--bland, boring, inoffensive, with as much character as a politician running for re-election. 

Most of the time, anyway. 

One of those other times is when you crack a bottle (and you do crack it; it's a screwtop) of the 2008 Estancia California Pinot Grigio. A near-perfect growing season gave the grapes plenty of hang time and resulted in a fresh, fruity, positively juicy wine that's nothing at all like the pale, watery liquids taking up space on supermarket and wine store shelves. 

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The rich, golden color is the first indication. Then come whiffs of green apple, white peach and grapefruit; if you get a little soapy tingle that blows off after a couple minutes in the glass. Flavors are bigger and richer than expected too, with peach, lemon-lime, orange and apple all rolling around in your mouth, followed by a tart, slightly spritzy finish. 

This is an excellent seafood wine, and at around 10 bucks a bottle you can afford something classier than fishsticks. Or cream of wheat, for that matter.


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