Little Penguin Pinot Grigio 2007 ~ 80 pts ~ $7.99

The-Little-Penguin-Pinot_B80DCC57Let me first set the stage for why I bought this wine. I decided that I would cook homemade chicken noodle soup (one of my specialties) for myself and some friends, and so would need a white wine to add to the soup and compliment the dinner. Why I decided to cook a hot soup in the middle of May can be only answered by the fact that I am an odd fellow. Picking the wine itself, I wanted something fruity and tangy to go with the chicken, so bypassed the chardonnays and Rieslings and went straight for the pinot grigio. If a cabernet sauvignon were a person, imagine a goth reading Dostoevsky in the corner of a café. Pinot Grigio, then, would most assuredly be the flighty blonde valley girl, jumping up and down showing off her bosom and assets in Abercrombie’s latest and squeaking her boyfriend’s name. It is light, crisp and sweet, which is a great compliment to poultry which responds well to sweet fruits such as apple, pear, and even banana.

Swilling the Little Penguin (*imagines a mini-penguin being twirled around a bowl of glass*), you smell citrus – pear and a bit of lemon. It is slightly strong on the alcohol, which explains why Wine Spectator said to drink it NOW. The taste is, in my opinion, fairly bland. It does have a sweet taste with pear, but that’s really about it. Very unexciting, and nothing original about it. As a cooking wine, it’s perfect because it adds some flavor, sugar, and acidity to the dish while bringing out the flavors of the chicken (in my case) and the spices. My guests did not drink the wine after all (Bud Light Lime was the popular drink of choice), and I drank the rest of the bottle while playing video games. For $8, not bad for a cheap buzz.

Aside from the cheap price, I also bought this wine because it has a bird on it. king-penguin-chickI was looking for a wine with a chicken on the label to go with the chicken I was cooking, but the penguin was the closest I could get. Ironically enough, some of the profits go to saving penguins in Australia: http://www.thelittlepenguin.com/penguinzone/thepenguinfoundation

So, if you like little tuxedo birds, or fluffy chicks (see right) and enjoy cheap fruity wine, go get a case! If not, save this wine for when you need to make a chicken stock.

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