Quietly, without a great deal of fanfare, inexpensive Ontario wines have been getting really quite good. The majority of them are still only available from the vineyards directly (which is why I make routine pilgrimages to Prince Edward County) but more than a few are now ending up on the shelves of the LCBO, offering quality options and affordable prices — despite the egregious markup. One of these is Cave Spring Pinot Gris, a remarkably refined white wine in the sub-$20 category.

I’ve enjoyed Cave Spring wines for a number of years now, but I’ve stuck to their reds, notably their very good Pinot Noir. But as our wedding date approaches, I’ve begun to expand my horizons, looking for the right white. While my decision has yet to be made, I’m happy to say the Cave Spring Pinot Gris is undoubtedly in the running.

Here’s what I thought:

Cave Spring Pinot Gris Review

When I go in for a pinot gris (or grigio, if you prefer) I’m almost always thinking of how the last third of the bottle will translate into a cooking wine. Pinot Gris is more often than not my cooking wine of choice, as I find it brings a nice, dry acidity to the party without some of the louder floral notes introducing a Sauvignon Blanc might. This was in my mind when I sprung for this Pinot Gris — but I never got to find out, as the bottle was finished before it could meet food.

That said, this wine would be excellent in a meal for the aforementioned reasons. Pouring a lovely dark-tinged straw, this Cave Spring wine is lightly perfumed with notes of firm green pear, Granny Smith apple, and a hint of clover honey. It smells like spring in a cup.

On the tongue, this wine keeps its promise, bringing a subtle but refined compliment of pear, stone fruits, and a bracingly brisk acidity that reminds me of nothing so much as a gin and tonic. It’s a uniquely refreshing white, and an absolute treat chilled. The finish is brief, with a slight sweetness and a brief tang. There’s not much to criticize about Cave Spring Pinot Gris, but perhaps it tends towards simplicity. Although, if you’re like me, I’m not sure that counts as marks against a white like this.

Cave Springs Pinot Gris Review


Final Verdict

A crisp, refreshing white wine that goes even better in a glass than in your food (thought it would be great there too). Definitely a white worth sipping slow.