Pinot grigio has gotten a bad name - and for good reason. As the variety has achieved mass popularity, most common bottles are insipidly thin, and taste as close to water as wine can get. But if you look for bottles from Alto Adige, the mountainous northeastern Italian region bordering Austria, you'll taste pinot grigios with backbone and personality worth seeking out. This fresh 2012 bottle from Tiefenbrunner in the Tyrolean Alps is so crisp and alive with minerality - plus a squeeze of citrus, pear and a whiff of meadow flowers - that I had a hard time resisting it alongside a piece of grilled fish. With a $5 Chairman's discount in Pennsylvania bringing the price to a case-worthy $11 a bottle, just in time for those balmy al fresco dinner nights, this is the kind of quality and value that can give much-maligned pinot grigio a good name once again.
- Craig LaBan
Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio IGT 2012, $10.99 in Pennsylvania (code 33159.)