The art of winemaking is an exciting yet confusing thing to discuss. There are lots of wine varieties that are available in the market. Hence, people should dig in if they really want to understand how all of these differ from each other.
That said, we will give you this comprehensive wine guide for free! Pinot Gris versus Pinot Grigio? Don’t worry because we got your back!
How are Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio similar to each other?
It is essential to understand that the only similarity between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio is their grape variety. So, technically, they are just the exact wine.
Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio is a wine grape mutation of Pinot Noir. Hence explains the first names. When dealing with Pinot Noir mutations, it is ideal to understand their last names since it is usually the indicator of their color.
The wine grape Pinot Noir has a darker complexion. That’s why when it is treated, it is considered red wine. Meanwhile, Pinot Gris has a lighter color of pink. It is regarded as white wine because of this.
How are Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio different from each other?
The real complications lie in the differences between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio. These differences are meant to be discussed so people who like to purchase these wines won’t get confused.
As we said, these wines are similar in their grape variety. So, how come they have different names, right? Well, that’s mainly because of their country of origin. The region where they cultivated and processed to become wine.
Pinot Gris is a French name. That implies that this version of the wine is treated in France, specifically in the Alsace region. The treatment and winemaking process also has the French style.
On the other hand, Pinot Grigio is an Italian name. The Italian touch is used to make this version of wine. The Lombardy region in Italy is the leading producer of Pinot Grigio.
These two regions share one characteristic: a cool climate. Hence, despite being produced in different places, Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio still possess excellent quality.
The production of this wine grape variety is not limited to these regions. As of now, many countries also devoted their farmlands to cultivating Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio.
We are done with the origin. Now let’s compare the characteristics!
Characteristics: Pinot Gris VS Pinot Grigio
To better understand the comparison in terms of characteristics, check out this table of the five major elements of a wine.
|Pinot Gris||Pinot Grigio|
|Alcohol level||13.5 to 14.5 ABV (High)||12.5 to 13.5 ABV (Medium)|
|Wine body||Full-bodied||Light to medium body|
Please note that the data written above are subject to change. The characteristics of Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio differ depending on how they are treated.
The origin is also one of the factors in these changes. Most importantly, the brand and winemaker.
Tasting notes: Pinot Gris VS Pinot Grigio
Italian wines are known for having crisp, light, and fresh flavors. When you commonly drink a Pinot Grigio, especially one produced in Italy, you’ll taste less sweetness.
Its primary flavors are lemon, orange, grapefruit, and lime. More likely on the tangy side of the spectrum. This is because the grapes used in most Pinot Grigio are the early harvest.
The grapes used for most Pinot Gris are more ripe or mature than the Pinot Grigio. This results in enough sweetness and tropical fruit flavors, like pineapple, banana, passionfruit, mango, and lychee.
Again, the taste of Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio still varies. It depends on the level of ripeness that the grapes have. We can only expect the same flavors and aromas for some bottles.
Food pairing: Pinot Gris VS Pinot Grigio
Wine and food pairing could be done in two different ways. The first is through congruent pairing, while the other is called contrasting pairing. Using these two, you can figure out which wine suits the best with each dish.
Let us explain it to you first!
The context behind contrasting pairing is simple. This way of pairing balances the flavors of the wine and food using the contradicting taste of each. One example is a creamy Mac and cheese dish and a citrusy Pinot Grigio.
Meanwhile, congruent pairing is done if the dish and wine have a shared flavor. This flavor is what makes balance. Grilled chicken and Pinot Gris is one excellent pairing.
Finding the perfect food pairing for wines is hard because everyone has their palate. Here are some dishes or food you should consider with your Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio.
- Seafood- steamed clams, salmon, lobsters, mussels, scallops, sea bass, sushi
- Meat- pork tenderloin, grilled chicken, light chicken dishes
- Light pasta dishes
- Light salad
- Summer vegetables– potatoes, green beans, sweet peppers
Pinot Grigio doesn’t work well with dishes with heavy creams or sauces. You can avoid these kinds of food when drinking this type of wine.
Watch this informative video about pairing a Pinot Grigio:
Pricing: Pinot Gris VS Pinot Grigio
Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio is just like the other wines. It has a broad price range. Whereas each country and brand price its wine differently. Sometimes, it is best to expect that the higher quality wine is expensive.
Nevertheless, you will be able to purchase a Pinot Grigio for a minimum amount of 10 dollars. You can also buy a 15-dollar Pinot Grigio in the market, such as the Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio (2020) and the Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio. Wines in this price range are already reasonable.
Meanwhile, one of the most expensive Pinot Gris is the 2001 Domaine Weinbach Pinot Gris Altenbourg Quintessence de Grains Nobles, which is roughly about 700 dollars. This is made in Alsace, France. Hence, it makes it understandable why this bottle is so pricey.
Another expensive Pinot Gris bottle is the 1993 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Heimbourg Turckheim Selection de Grains Nobles. This one is also made from Alsace and is considered one of the best.
Don’t worry because you can still buy Pinot Gris wines for about 100 dollars. You only have to search the market.
How Can I identify if it is a Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio?
Basically, you need to check the label or the name of the wine. This is the most precise way to recognize if it is a Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris. Asking the store owner or the winery might be helpful too.
Looking for where it is manufactured could also help, but it may not be more accurate. Through the years, wineries evolved, and the production of these wines is not limited to France or Italy anymore.
Tasting notes and the type of grape used may not be the best options too. Find out the reasons why!
You’ll only have the opportunity to taste the wine when you buy it. Unless there are free samples available for that wine. If none, then you’ll have to pay first before you identify it.
The grapes the winery used may not be reliable, even though it is included on the label. As we know, Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are made with the same grape variety. They only differ in ripeness. The grape variety is written on the label but not the level of ripeness.
Anyway, don’t worry that much because wineries include the full name of the wine on the label.
What is the correct name to use?
No law would punish people for using Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio interchangeably. In fact, these wines have various names for different countries. So, it is fine whatever term is used.
Regular consumers won’t have to worry about using the wrong name. Unless you are a wine expert and you refuse to be wrong in identifying wines. Even wine bloggers are okay with using any of the two.
From the winemakers’ point of view, it is best to still use accurate identification, whether it is a Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio. So that the buyers will not get confused. It is excellent not to mislead people.
Wineries in Australia are allowed to use these names interchangeably.
What do people prefer?
People have a love-hate relationship with Pinot Grigio! Pinot Grigio is loved because of its simplicity, rich flavor, and affordability. This wine has a better aroma and taste. However, they are very subtle, which is the cause of all the hatred as well.
People tend to hate Pinot Grigio because of its simplicity! Does that make sense to you? Kidding aside, that’s the reality. As you know, people sometimes prefer strong alcoholic drinks.
There’s no argument needed for the price of Pinot Grigio. It is indeed affordable.
What an insightful blog we’ve had! We learned that even though Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are made with the same grapes, they still have fundamental differences. Which are all helpful in identifying them.
How about you? If you’re going to choose between Pinot Gris vs. Pinot Grigio, which are you going to pick? Share your wine of choice with us!