Pinot Gris, or Pinot Grigio as it’s known in France, is one of the most popular white wine varieties available in the United States. The popularity is well earned, Pinot Grigio is crisp, zesty, and wonderfully refreshing on a hot summers day.
As the name suggests, Pinot Grigio is an offshoot of the Pinot grape, which features so heavily in Pinot Noir’s and Pinot Blanc’s. Like many popular while wines, is not well regarded by aficionados thanks to its lack of complexity. However, those who care little about what the snobs think will find a good bottle of Pinot Grigio to be the perfect compliment to a warm relaxing day.
The two main growing regions of Pinot Grigio are France and Italy, and depending on the origin the wine will taste slightly different. However one thing Grigio’s from both regions have in common are their dryness. Good quality Grigio is fairly dry and highly acidic so keep that in mind if you prefer your wines sweeter.
Like many white wines, Pinot Grigio is fairly fruit forward when it comes to flavors. Expect to taste strong notes of lime, green apple, lemon, pear, and nectarine. In addition the wine has floral ,spicy, and salty notes.
In addition, Italian Grigio’s tend to be the dryer and bitterer of the two while French Grigio’s are sweeter with a subtle honey flavor.
Pinot Grigio is the seafood lovers best friend. The wine goes extremely well with sushi, cooked fish, and shellfish. It’s also a good wine to have with chicken, as well as cured meats. It’s also a excellent companion to fresh salads and Mediterranean veggies.
When it comes to cheese, steer clear of the stronger curds in favour of gentler options like gruyere and muenster.
Wines to try
Try to avoid the budget wine shelf when picking a Pinot Grigio as the cheaper options tend to be overly sweet and simplistic.
Alois Lageder Riff ($10)
A wonderful affordable bottle with a pleasing apricot flavor and a clean finish.
Ruffino Lumina ($13)
A crisp and notably spicy wine with good floral notes and fruit flavors.
Woodbridge Pinot Grigio ($9)
Fruit forward and intense, this is a great easy drinking bottle.