Why pinot grigio, of all wines? At its best, it can be crisp, clean, and flavorful—but no one has ever accused it of being particularly complex. "Never underestimate the appeal of a wine's name," Italian wine executive Philip di Belardino told us. "Look at how much people love to say the words 'Pouilly Fuisse'." In the early '70s, di Belardino recalled, he represented three top northern Italian wineries, each of which made a pinot grigio, a pinot bianco, and a tocai. "Though in each case the pinot grigio was the least exciting wine," he related, "it was always the most successful. Pinot bianco just sounded too cheap, and tocai sounded ugly."