A white relative of Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc is often referred to as the "poor man's Chardonnay" because it has similar characteristics to the noble varietal, yet produces wine with a noticeably simpler flavor profile (and it's usually a whole lot cheaper than premium Chardonnay). The grape excels in a long, cool growing season, resulting in dry, crisp, medium- to full-bodied wines that feature a vibrant green to straw yellow color and a heady, powerful nose. Pinot Blanc typically has a rich and mouthfilling texture, along with tart flavors of citrus, fennel, and green apple. It's traditionally grown in France's Alsace region, as well as Northern Italy (where it's called Pinot Bianco), and Germany. In Austria, the Pinto Blanc grape is often vinified as a dry, almondy Weissburgunder—or "White Burgundy"—and exquisite Trockenbeerenauslese dessert wines. California's Monterey appellation has had promising results with barrel-aged Pinot Blanc as well. Dishes that pair well include pork, fish, tapas, lighter cheeses, and grilled vegetables.