This week we spent a very pleasant and warm New York evening sitting on a deck snacking on grilled chicken and freshly grilled flatbread while tasting our way through eight bottles of Pinot Gris (or Pinot Grigio, depending on which country you're from). It's really a great wine for al fresco dining like this. More floral and complex than the Vinho Verde we tried a couple weeks ago, it pairs nicely with food, but is still refreshing and crisp enough to cool you down on a hot summer night.
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We don't know how sweltering your summer has been, but this Amateur Wine Group is sticking to white wines for awhile; it may be a few months before we venture back into red territory. Last time, we tasted our way through quite a few bottles of cold, crisp Vinho Verde. This week? Pinot Gris.
As the weather cools, my craving for French onion soup always resurfaces. This dish is so simple, but so good, especially if you use a rich and flavorful stock, the sweetest of slow cooked onions, a thick piece of crusty bread, and good-quality nutty Gruyere. Pairing soup with wine can be a bit tricky and it's a bit counterintuitive to match liquid with liquid, but believe me, a good glass of wine makes this meal even better.
If you are taking full advantage of the harvest, pick up a bottle of Pinot Grigio on your way home from the farmers' market. Pinot Grigio is a grape that pairs wonderfully with most vegetables because of its fresh flavors and abundant acidity.