Pinot Grigio is one of the most popular white grapes grown and enjoyed today. But does that popularity mean that Pinot Grigio is a sweet or a dry wine?
Chances are, if you’ve drunk a white wine in your lifetime, it was a Pinot Grigio.
Believed to be a descendant of the equally popular Pinot Noir grape, Pinot Grigio is a firm favourite amongst wine makers and wine drinkers. So much so that it’s grown all over the globe, from Italy to Australia.
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Is Pinot Grigio Sweet or Dry?
Pinot Grigio varies in sweetness but traditionally makes a dry white wine so it is not usually sweet, although some styles of Pinot Grigio can be off-dry with some deliciously sweet characteristics.
Whether Pinot Grigio is a sweet or a dry wine depends on where it is grown.
Most styles of Pinot Grigio are dry white wines, but that doesn’t mean that all Pinot Grigio is dry.
In France Pinot Grigio is referred to as Pinot Gris and the grapes here make lovely, aromatic off-dry wines. If a wine is labelled as Pinot Gris the chances are that this wine is a sweet or off-dry style of the grape.
Here's a selection of Pinot Grigio varieties and their level of sweetness / dryness:
|Pinot Grigio Variety||Sweetness/Dryness Level|
|Italian Pinot Grigio||Dry|
|Alsatian Pinot Gris||Off-dry|
|Oregon Pinot Gris||Off-dry to medium-dry|
|Australian Pinot Grigio||Dry to medium-dry|
|California Pinot Grigio||Dry to off-dry|
Which is why it’s always important to check the labels if you want some idea of the wine you’ll be drinking.
What Is Pinot Grigio?
Very simply, Pinot Grigio is a white grape used to make white wine.
Except white isn’t always the case.
The skin of a Pinot Grigio grape can be pink, grey and white in appearance and this is why it is called Pinot Grigio...
The name Pinot Grigio is Italian and roughly translates to “Grey Pine Cone”, which may not sound particularly exciting, but in this case it is.
Pinot Grigio is also thought to be related to the Pinot Noir varietal, hence Pinot as part the name.
Unlike Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio is a variety that is easy to grow en masse, a quality which has contributed to its popularity.
Most wine aisles in the supermarkets will have lots of examples of Pinot Grigio and the grape can be grown everywhere, from France to Italy to Australia.
Ok, so what are the tasting notes of Pinot Grigio?
What Does Pinot Grigio Taste Like?
The taste of Pinot Grigio varies from region to maker.
Most Pinot Grigios make dry white wines with lots of good acidity.
So what kind of tasting notes can you expect?
When Pinot Grigio is made in the Italian style it makes a dry white wine with lots of zesty aromas and notes of green apple and pear drops.
Think cloudy lemonade, segments of juicy nectarine and apple blossom.
But when Pinot Grigio is made in the French style as Pinot Gris it can be off-dry to sweet.
This results in more tropical and candied fruit flavours.
Think heady jasmine perfume, juicy honeydew melon and drizzling honey from a spoon.
In order to get the most flavour out of your Pinot Grigio it's important to know the best way to store and serve your wine.
Temperature has a huge impact on a wine’s flavour, make sure your Pinot Grigio is served at the correct temperature.
Not only does the serving temperature affect the taste of Pinot Grigio, so does the food alongside it.
So what food goes well with Pinot Grigio?
Pinot Grigio Food Pairings
We know that Pinot Grigio wines have lots of wonderful citrus and stone fruit acidity and this makes them fantastic food-friendly wines.
Some foods that go well with Pinot Grigio include cheeses - especially those made in the same region - as well as light salads, roast chicken and fresh seafood dishes.
If the meal is light and fresh then chances are an equally light and fresh Pinot Grigio will work wonders with it.
Wines can warm up over time, so to help keep your Pinot Grigio at its ideal serving temperatures during meal times, invest in a wine cooler here.
But are there any foods that don’t go well with Pinot Grigio?
What Foods To Avoid With Pinot Grigio?
Now we know what foods go well with Pinot Grigio, what about foods that don’t pair well with Pinot Grigio.
Foods you should avoid with Pinot Grigio include anything that is quite heavy or overwhelming.
Pinot Grigio is a very light, fresh wine and may not go well with dishes that have a lot of spices or anything containing a lot of sugar and chocolate, such as Tiramisu.
Do the same rules for Pinot Grigio apply to Pinot Gris?
What, exactly, is the difference between the two?
What is the Difference Between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris?
Whilst they are both the same grape, the main difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris is that the former is grown in Italy and the latter in France.
Pinot Grigio is grown in Italy and is the drier style of the variety, known for its fresh, saline minerality and zesty, citrus acidity.
Pinot Gris, on the other hand, is the French name for the variety.
When grown in France it makes fuller bodied, off-dry styles of the variety with lots of tropical styles.
Wines labelled Pinot Gris made outside of France will have been made to have similar characteristics, so it’s smart to pay attention to the wording on the labels.
Here's a Summary of Everything You Need To Know About Pinot Grigio Sweetness
|Grape variety||Pinot Grigio|
|Appearance||Skin can be pink, grey, and white|
|Taste profile||Dry white wine with good acidity, citrus and stone fruit flavors (Italian style), off-dry to sweet with tropical and candied fruit flavors (French style)|
|Food pairings||Light salads, fresh seafood, cheeses, roast chicken|
|Foods to avoid||Heavy or overwhelming dishes, anything with lots of spices or sugar and chocolate|
|Difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris||Same grape variety, grown in Italy (drier style) and France (fuller-bodied, off-dry styles with tropical flavors)|
Before you go...
We hope this answers all your questions on “Is Pinot Grigio a dry or a sweet wine?”
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