Collio Pinot Grigio Mongris 2017, Italy
W hen people look for an Italian white wine they often turn to pinot grigio. It’s easy to drink, it’s widely available and it’s inexpensive.
The Collio Pinot Grigio Mongris is all those things, but it takes pinot grigio up a notch. It has an intense flavor you don’t often find in pinot grigio.
A gorgeous golden yellow in the glass, it opens with pleasant floral and citrus aromas. On the palate I tasted apple, lemon and white stone fruit with a crisp minerality. The backbone on this wines makes it especially distinctive among pinot grigios. With each sip you get more and more intense flavor. It is an elegant wine equally good as a sipper or with food.
The grapes come from rocky hillside vineyards in the Friuli region of northeast Italy. Collio is a town and wine region within the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. The name Mongris is a contraction of “mono variety” and the Friulano word for pinot grigio, “gris.”
The rocky soil, which was once ocean floor, concentrates flavors in the grapes and limits yields. Between the Mediterranean Sea, 12 miles away, and the Alps to the north, cool breezes sweep over the vineyards many afternoons, allowing for a slow ripening of the grapes.
After hand-picking, the grapes are destemmed. The must and pulp undergo a cold maceration on the skins followed by a light pressing to separate the skins. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel temperature controlled tanks.
The wine is then aged for several months on the lees before it is bottled.
The wine is produced by the Marco Felluga winery, founded in 1956. As part of a winemaking dynasty dating back to the 1800s, the Felluga family is considered a pioneer in regional quality and innovation in the Collio region.
The Felluga family has made it their life’s work to preserve the family’s winemaking heritage, while embracing modern technology. Run today by Marco’s son, fifth-generation winemaker Roberto Felluga, the estate controls more than 250 acres of land, most of which is family owned and operated.

Goes with: This was the perfect wine for a chicken stir fry I love to make. It is full of good vegetables like celery, carrots, bell peppers and green onions. For extra flavor I stir fry the chicken pieces in oil laced with fresh ginger. Then after stir frying the vegetables mixed with unsalted peanuts I add a sauce of soy sauce, chicken broth, red pepper flakes, corn starch and sherry. I serve it over rice.
This pinot grigio has enough body to stand up to the spicy dish. The crisp acidity and minerality are perfect for a dish like this.
My wife Teri and I also had a bottle of the 2015 vintage one weeknight when I emptied the freezer and had a fried shrimp feast. I had a package of frozen breaded shrimp and another package of frozen coconut shrimp. They cook nicely in the oven in just a few minutes.
We also had frozen sweet potato tater tots and hash browns. You might call it an empty the freezer dinner. We added cut up veggies to complete the feast.
It was a great pairing. With two years of aging in my cellar the wine had gotten even better, more robust and crisp. You probably could keep this wine in your cellar for two or three years.
The frozen shrimp feast.

If you have questions about wine you can email Dennis Sodomka at

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