Pinot Grigio is a light, delicious, and zesty white wine that is a favourite among many wine lovers. Originating in France, this ubiquitous white grape varietal is anything but simple. Below, we’ll introduce you to one of the most popular white wines worldwide. 

Discovering Pinot Grigio: A Versatile White Wine 

Pinot Grigio (or “Pinot Gris”) first appeared in Burgundy, France, as early as the Middle Ages. A mutation of Pinot grape family, this versatile grape became known for its peculiar grey-ish purple skin colour – hence, where it got the name of Pinot Gris. 

In the 1300s, the Pinot Gris grape was introduced to Switzerland, where the vine flourished. It later had undeniable success in Italian wine-growing regions such as Lombardy, Trentino, the Veneto, and Alto Adige. It is here that the grape got its Italian name of Pinot Grigio. 

Many wine enthusiasts often ask: What is the difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris? One common misconception is that these are two different grape varieties – but this isn’t true. 

They are two sides of the same coin. The core difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio lies in the produced style of wine. Pinot Gris, grown in Alsace, produces a medium to full-bodied wine that can be dry but also can be sweeter and has more texture in the mouth. Pinot Grigio from Italy, on the other hand, is known for being lighter in structure, simpler and fruit forward. 

What is the Tasting Profile of This Wine?

This dry white is praised for its refreshing acidity and food friendliness. Primary fruit flavours of Pinot Grigio tend to fall within the citrus family of lemon and lime as well as stone fruit such as peach or apricot and tree fruit such as green apple and pear. However, you may also discover some floral aromas such as honeysuckle and white blossom and a faint honeyed note. 

Although it is known for its unusual skin appearance, this grape varietal’s appearance can vary significantly depending on how the winemaker vinifies the wine. If the juice is left to macerate on its skins the wine will have a pink hue to it. If not, the colour will be a pale lemon colour. So, this grape can be fun for a winemaker to experiment with.

One thing that you are guaranteed with Pinot Grigio, regardless of whether it came from Italy, France or somewhere else is that you’ll receive a wine that is food friendly and enjoyable.

Best Pinot Grigio Food Pairings 

This versatile wine is an ideal companion to summery, light dishes, and popular Italian staples. Due to its high acidity, light body, and delicate flavours, it is best paired with a dish that will complement and not overpower its outstanding qualities.

If you are in the mood for fish or seafood, we suggest pairing a Luigi Righetti Pinot Grigio 2020 with grilled shrimp and lemon. The citrus of the lemon will bring out the crisp acidity of the wine. Vegetable-based risottos such as risotto primavera are also a perfect pairing option. 

Chicken or turkey are excellent meat pairing options – they are soft enough in flavour that they won’t compete and overpower the fruitiness of the wine. Chicken with capers would be delicious with a Tunella Pinot Grigio 2018

Don’t be afraid to experiment with other iconic flavours. Many are unaware that spices can be a great contrast to the acidity of Pinot Grigio wine. Dishes seasoned with white pepper, fennel, ginger, saffron, cinnamon, and allspice will be just as delectable. 

For more information on Pinot Grigio or to learn more about our selection of French and Italian wine, reach out to the Small Winemakers Collection team today. 


    Stay up to date!
    Sign up for the Ultimate Wine Lovers Newsletter with weekly offers
    Thanks for signing up. You must confirm your email address before we can send you. Please check your email and follow the instructions.
    We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
    Don't miss out. Subscribe today.