Crisp, fruity, mineral-edged Pinot Blanc doesn't get much respect--but when paired with a flaky vegetable tart, its virtues become obvious.
Pity poor Pinot Blanc. Underappreciated in its native Alsace, it tends to be overlooked in other wine regions as well. In Oregon, for example, most of the glory goes to another white grape, Pinot Gris. But Pinot Blanc, when properly looked after, has the kind of attributes--flavors of fresh apple and pear, a mineraly edge, a crisp acidity--that make people ask enthusiastically, "What is this?" Best of all, Pinot Blanc is an excellent match with many dishes such as this vegetable galette. The subtle flavors and vibrant acidity of the 2001 Pinot Blanc from Adelsheim ($14) in Oregon's Willamette Valley cut the richness of the leeks and the buttery pastry, while the wine's nuttiness harmonizes with the earthy flavors of the tomatoes and olives. The 2001 Pinot Blanc from Amity Vineyards ($12), made about 20 miles down the road from Adelsheim, is a solid second choice for those looking for a bit more spiciness in their Pinot Blanc.