Pinot grigio is one of the most popular wine styles among American wine drinkers, thanks to its appealing price points and delicate flavors of fresh apples or pears that are refreshingly crisp. Some detractors find these wines to be bland or boring, viewing pinot grigio’s mildness of flavor on first sip to be a weakness by definition. Many assume that more is always better when it comes to the flavor intensity of food or drink, but that’s just not how our senses operate. If that were true, we’d be using more Worcestershire sauce than mayonnaise and topping our pizzas with Gorgonzola, not mozzarella.

Sensory pleasures are driven more by balance and harmony than by sheer force, and it is pinot grigio’s very understatement that makes it such a flattering foil for food. No matter how delicate the dish — from raw oysters to fresh cucumbers to turkey breast — pinot grigio doesn’t overwhelm the taste of whatever is being served. Instead, it shines a mouthwatering spotlight on the food. With bolder flavors, like grilled beef, smoked salmon, or roasted beets, lighter wines like these still pair well by acting as a palate-cleansing counterpoint. While most imported pinot grigio is Italian, the grape is also grown in other regions.

This lovely example comes from Argentina, but follows the European recipe for subtlety and refreshment. Picking grapes early yields a light-bodied wine with bright acidity and delicate flavors reminiscent of golden apples, Asian pears, and honeydew melon.

Santa Julia Pinot Grigio, Mendoza, Argentina

$9.99 13% alcohol; PLCB Item #1214

Sale price through Aug. 2 -regularly $11.99

Also available at: Wine Warehouse in Clementon — $5.98