Some of this country's best pinots — noir, gris and blanc — come from Oregon, which seems to have been tailor-made to bring this popular grape to its fullest expression. Erath Winery in the state's Dundee Hills has been making pinots since 1967, a depth of experience that shows in its 2008 Erath Oregon Pinot Gris (about $15 at big-box stores and wine shops), a wine rated 89 points by Wine Spectator.
This lively white has a more exuberant bouquet than many whites, greeting the inquiring nose with a nice blast of ripe pear accented by a hint of meadow flowers. That luscious pear is dominant on the tongue, too, where it is given an agreeable edge by tart green apple and then further mellowed by a whiff of warm toast. Big pear and sidekick apple persist through the long clean finish, at the end of which a lovely apricot grace note takes a bow.
For us, this wine cries out for a gooey wedge of Camembert served with toasted French bread rounds, although a mixed-milk Robiola would work well, too. It also will pair well with warmly spiced foods such as Thai spareribs in a green curry glaze.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.