A READER WRITES to ask: “What is a nice alternative to Pinot Grigio? I love it but would like to try another white (not Chardonnay).” There are many wines I could suggest. A zesty Sauvignon Blanc, perhaps? But rather like Pinot Grigio, it’s a little too obvious and ubiquitous. Viognier—the apricot-infused, lush white grape of the northern Rhône, most famous for producing the wines of Condrieu? Maybe too obscure. But what about Semillon?
This white grape, a native of southwest France, has been planted all over the world—notably in Australia, but also in Argentina, California, Washington and New Zealand. But it’s fallen out of favor of late, to the surprise of those of us who have long adored this complicated variety.