You’re hosting a sophisticated dinner party. Your appetizers are amazing; your main course is to die for. And dessert – oh, we can only imagine! But most importantly, you serve an incredible selection of wine. A sweet rich pinot gris. A refreshing, fruity pinot grigio. Perfect. Then someone asks you, “What’s the difference between pinot gris wine and pinot grigio?” Um… hmmm. What is the difference?
Well… Pinot gris and pinot grigio do come from the same grape. It originated in France. There, it is cultivated in Alsace and the resulting wine is known as pinot gris. In Italy, it goes by pinot grigio. This is not the only difference, however.
French vs. Italian
French pinot gris wines are rich, spicy, and have a thicker, more viscous texture. They also age superbly. Italy, which is credited to popularizing pinot grigio (thanks, Italy!), produces a lighter, crisp, fresh wine with bright fruit and floral notes.
Today, pinot gris and pinot grigio grapes are cultivated all over the world; usually, you’ll find the more Italian-inspired flavors. But some regions, notably Oregon and New Zealand, take their cue from the French and produce a more rich, textured pinot gris taste.
Now the big question: what do you serve with pinot grigio and what pairs well with pinot gris? For pinot grigio, try light dishes. Think fish, grilled shrimp, and airy appetizers. Want to get hearty? Pair pinot gris with roasts, hard cheeses, veal, rabbit stew – and elevate your comfort food chicken casserole with a perfectly chilled glass.
Well, now you’re prepared when someone asks you the difference between pinot gris wine and pinot grigio! Better yet – be prepared with a delicious bottle from your favorite label. Your guests will thank you. More importantly, you will thank you!