The Barefoot Pinot Grigio (with maybe some Muscat of Alexandria and Viognier blended in) is sourced from vineyards from more than one state, the label says American wine. Barefoot wines have been around in form or another since 1965 but really took off after E and J Gallo purchased the company in 2005. These are well priced, mass-produced wines that are available all across the United States. Barefoot’s website shows that in the past this Pinot Grigio was made from grapes grown in California, so the switch to grapes grown in areas in addition to California seems to be recent. The alcohol content is 12.5%.
The color is pale golden-yellow. The nose is grapefruit, tropical fruit, lemon, lime and a late hit of spice. This is a medium to light bodied Pinot Grigio with a solid dose of acidity in addition to tasty fruit and citrus flavors. It tastes of grapefruit mixed with pineapple, lime and green apple. The mid-palate shows slightly sweet pear and creamy lemon. The acidity is not as pronounced as some of the leading Italian Pinot Grigio, but there is enough to work as a food wine (acidity cleanses the palate). The finish lingers for a good length of time.
I think I figured out what these inexpensive Barefoot wines are all about. In Europe, in places where people routinely drink wine with every meal, they don’t spend $10 on a bottle. That can add up in a hurry, most folks spend a couple of euros on their everyday wine and they get wines that compliment the meal. In America we don’t have a wine with the meal tradition, some people do it, most don’t. Two Buck Chuck is supposed to be the US equivalent to those every day Euro wines, but I think they miss the mark. But Barefoot wines, have complementary flavors, along with enough structure and acidity to work as food wines. These are not “wow” wines, but are plenty good enough to go well with spaghetti and meatballs or whatever dish you whip up for the family, plus the price won’t break the bank. Inexpensive, good, everyday food wines mean America is maturing as a wine nation, and that is a very good sign.