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Eat Drink, Journey, Issue #038: 9/18/2017
September 19, 2017
Hello all,

Remember the New Yorker cartoon of the tanker truck with “Cheap White Wine” stenciled on its side? The quaff in that truck used to be Chardonnay, but today the contents are likely to be Pinot Grigio. Once a charming regional wine from the mountainous northern tip of Italy, Pinot Grigio has become the default choice of wine drinkers around the country.

Much of that popularity is due to the phenomenon of Santa Margherita---once a charming wine itself, and now something that tastes like grapefruit-flavored water mildly spike with alcohol. Like many other things in our current culture, its popularity is baffling. The cult of Santa Margherita has obscured the fact that some great wines are coming out of the Alto Adige and South Tyrol. One of those producers is Alois Lageder, who regularly turns out single-vineyard releases with stunning purity of fruit. About ten years ago, he embarked on an experiment. Would it be possible to apply the elevated Lageder standards to a reasonably priced, widely available version of Pinot Grigio? The result is Riff ($11), located precisely at the intersection of quality and quantity.

In Glass Half Full, our roundup of the most interesting food, wine and spirits stories on the web, we looked at the efforts of specialists devoted to saving priceless wine collections from Hurricane Irma, reported on the efforts of restaurant owners trying to avoid hiring chefs who were drug dealers, and revealed how three new Masters of Wine ran the gauntlet and passed one of the most difficult exams on earth.

Here are last week’s posts:

Quick Sip: Riff Pinot Grigio, by Alois Lageder

Glass Half Full: 9/13/2017

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