Pinot Grigio is one of the world’s most popular white wines. Its light, crisp flavor makes it a favorite for all occasions. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply enjoying a glass after work, Pinot Grigio can provide a refreshingly enjoyable experience. However, not all Pinot Grigios are created equal. To really appreciate this wine, it’s important to select the best possible bottle.
- Pinot Grigio is a white wine from the North of Italy (Veneto)
- Varietals of Pinot Grigio are Pinot Gris (France) and Grauburgunder (Germany)
- Pinot Grigio and its varietals grow all over the world
- The wine is not too acidic but carries fruity aroma (green apple and citrus fruit)
- It pairs well with grilled fish, chicken and grilled vegetables
Varietals of Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio is an old grape variety, originally from Burgundy. It becomes very popular in Europe and the USA in the early 1980s. In Germany it bears the name Grauburgunder and is also known as Ruländer. This name goes back to the German merchant Johann Seger Ruland, who was responsible for the spread of the vine engaged. When we talk about Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris or Grauburgunder, in the end it is always about the same grape variety. Only the origin makes the difference in the name. The terroir is decisive!
Pinot Grigio is mainly present in northern Italy in the Veneto and Friuli areas. In Germany, Baden and the Palatinate are the most important growing regions for Grauburgunder. In France Pinot Gris is mainly grown in Alsace. Depending on how they are aged, these wines are light and fresh or rather sweet and full-bodied.
Pinot Grigio Aroma
Pinot Grigio grapes are reddish to gray blue in color. It is mainly used to make white wine. A small quantity of pinot grigio grapes are used to make rosé wine. Depending on the location and the hand of the winemaker, a Pinot Grigio can taste light and tasty or full-bodied and sweet.
Classically, it comes as a crisp, fresh-fruity and dry white wine, which is rich in extracts, aromatic and rather low in acid. It unfolds wonderful fruit aromas on the palate: apple, citrus fruits and velvety pear, peach or fig notes are typical of a Pinot Grigio. There are also nuances of walnut or almond, butter and honey. With appropriate development, it can have storage potential and enrich a high sugar content. In some regions – especially in Alsace – it is often made sweet because of these properties. It varies in color from honey to amber yellow but can also show clear red and pink reflections.
Best Pinot Grigio regions
When it comes to enjoying a glass of wine, Pinot Grigio, Pinot gris and Grauburgunder are all excellent varieties. Each has its own unique flavor profile that can be enjoyed alone or paired with food. However, these wines have both advantages and drawbacks that should be taken into consideration before making a selection.
Italy – Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio is the lightest of these three varieties, offering subtle floral aromas and crisp acidity. It makes an ideal accompaniment to light seafood dishes or salads. Unfortunately, it can also lack complexity and depth of flavor due to its low alcohol content.
France – Pinot Gris
Pinot gris is richer in body than its cousin Pinot grigio, offering more intense notes of honeyed fruit and spice on the palate. Its structure allows it to pair well with heartier dishes such as pork or poultry.
Germany – Grauburgunder
Grauburgunder is a variety of white wine grape native to Germany. Grauburgunder wines have a smooth flavor with notes of peach, pear and citrus fruit. They also have good acidity which makes them great for pairing with food or as an aperitif. Additionally, they tend to age well over time, so you can get some interesting flavors from older bottles. Grauburgunder wines are a fresh, crisp flavor with notes of pear and citrus fruit. The corresponding Ruländer wines are often full bodied and sweet.
On the downside, Grauburgunder and Pinot Gris wines are usually more expensive than other whites due to their popularity and demand.
Popular Brands and Prices
Italy – Pinot Grigio
Vie di Romans
Friuli Isonzo Pinot Grigio is an Italian white wine that has been gaining in popularity for its smooth and refreshing taste. The wine originates from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy, which is located on the border between Austria and Slovenia. It was first produced by the Romans who were attracted to this region because of its warm climate and soil composition.
This type of Pinot Grigio has a crisp acidity, with a light body and floral aromas like apple blossom, lemon zest, and peach notes. On the palate it is delicate yet complex with hints of almond and herbs such as sage or thyme. This unique blend makes it an excellent choice for pairing with fish dishes like salmon or sea bass as well as various types of seafood pasta dishes.
Villa Russiz Pinot Grigio is an Italian white wine produced in the northeast region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The Villa Russiz winery was founded in 1868 and has remained family-owned for generations. Located among rolling hills, vineyards, and meadows near the town of Cormons, this estate produces some of the finest wines in Italy.
The Villa Russiz Pinot Grigio is a light but flavorful dry white with a delicate bouquet of citrus aromas and flavors. It offers notes of ripe apple and pear balanced with bright acidity and hints of spice. On the palate it is smooth yet complex with a long finish that lingers on the tongue. The perfect pairing to accompany this refreshing wine would be seafood dishes or salads made with seasonal vegetables.
France – Pinot Gris
Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris is a white wine crafted by the renowned Zind-Humbrecht family of Alsace, France. The family has dedicated itself to producing wines of remarkable quality since 1959. They`re now considered one of Europe’s top winemakers. Their Pinot Gris features a pale straw color with greenish tints and an expressive nose of citrus fruits and white flowers. On the palate, this light-bodied wine offers complexity and elegance with flavors of ripe pears, honeycomb and apples balanced by a vibrant acidity that gives it structure. Perfectly balanced, this delightful expression will pair effortlessly with seafood dishes as well as ripe cheeses. Enjoy on its own or alongside your next meal for a truly special experience!
Hugel et Fils
The Pinot Gris produced by Hugel et Fils is a popular white wine produced in Alsace, France. It`s a family-owned and operated business that has been making wines since 1639. They produce some of the finest wines in France. This particular Pinot Gris is an elegant and balanced white wine, with aromas of fresh fruit and subtle floral notes. On the palate, it displays flavors of ripe pear, citrus zest and hints of spice. It has a bright acidity with well integrated tannins yielding a rich texture that lingers on the finish. With its subtle complexity and unique style, this Pinot Gris from Hugel et Fils makes for an excellent accompaniment to food or simply enjoyed on its own.
Germany – Grauburgunder
Schmidt Vinyards, Lake Constance
Weingut Schmidt’s Lake Constance Grauburgunder is a wine of distinction and unbelievable quality. Located in Germany’s renowned Bodensee region, Weingut Schmidt has crafted this particular Grauburgunder from grapes grown on the steep south-facing slopes overlooking Lake Constance. This lake-side microclimate provides an ideal growing environment for the delicate Grauburgunder variety.
Weingut Schmidt’s dedication to producing premium wines of excellence is evident in the award-winning Lake Constance Grauburgunder. Its unique terroir gives it a distinct aroma and flavor profile with notes of citrus, green apple and white flowers complemented by a vibrant acidity which leads to a long finish and pleasing minerality. The light body makes it ideal for summertime sipping or pairing with lighter dishes such as fish or salads.
Karl Pfaffmann Vinyards
The Karl Pfaffmann winery, located in the heart of Germany’s Palatinate region, is renowned for its superb Grauburgunder wines. This estate has been producing high-quality wines since 1899 and continues to set a benchmark for quality in German wine production today. The Grauburgunder grape variety has become their signature offering, a dry white wine with intense aromas of ripe citrus fruit, honey and almonds.
The Karl Pfaffmann Grauburgunder is made from hand-selected grapes that are harvested in late September or early October when the acidity and sugar levels are just right. The unique terroir of this region gives the grapes an unmistakable minerality that comes through on the palate. On the nose it offers notes of ripe yellow apples and subtle spice that makes it a delightful drinking experience.
USA – Pinot Gris & Pinot Grigio
Two Shepherds Saralee’s Vineyard Pinot Gris
Saralee’s Vineyard, located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, California, is home to a remarkable Pinot Gris. Two Shepherds Saralee’s Vineyard Pinot Gris has an inviting aroma of citrus and tropical fruits that carries through to the palate. This well-balanced white wine is full bodied with a round mid-palate of honeydew and pear. The finish lingers pleasantly on the tongue with notes of dried apricot, white peach and honeysuckle.
Two Shepherds Saralee’s Vineyard Pinot Gris pairs perfectly with light seafood dishes or roasted pork tenderloin. The bright acidity makes it the ideal accompaniment for herbed cheeses like Boursin or goat cheese tartines.
Biltmore American Pinot Grigio
The Biltmore American Pinot Grigio is a top-notch white wine from one of the most iconic wineries in the United States. Founded by George W. Vanderbilt III, Biltmore has been producing quality wines for over a century. Their American Pinot Grigio is no exception, offering a light body and crisp acidity that pairs perfectly with salads and seafood dishes.
This particular vintage has aromas of fresh citrus and hints of green apple and pear on the nose, followed by flavors of melon and peach on the palate. It’s well balanced, with a lingering finish that makes it an excellent food accompaniment or sipping wine. The structure of this Pinot Grigio allows it to pair with many types of cuisine without overpowering lighter dishes like sushi or grilled vegetables.
Food Pairing Suggestions
Pinot Grigio is one of the most popular white wines in the world. Its light, crisp flavor and subtle notes of citrus make it a perfect choice for almost any occasion. When it comes to food pairing, Pinot Grigio pairs well with a wide variety of dishes. Here are some suggestions that will help you get the most out of your next glass of Pinot Grigio.
Fish lovers should pair their Pinot Grigio with salmon or seabass. The light flavors will help bring out more complex notes in the fish, making for an enjoyable combination. For poultry dishes like chicken or turkey, a medium-bodied white wine like Pinot Grigio is a great match as its refreshing acidity can cut through the richness of these dishes.
Grilled meats make an ideal pairing for Pinot Grigio because the smoky, charred flavors balance nicely with the wine’s citrus and mineral notes. When choosing dishes to go with this versatile varietal, there are several options that can bring out its complex profile. For those looking for a simple meal to pair with their bottle of Pinot Grigio, grilled chicken seasoned simply or marinated in lemon and herbs is an excellent choice. This dish will emphasize the wine’s zesty citrus accents while playing off its fruity undertones in a flavorful way.
Fruity-sweet Spätlese or noble sweet Auslese go particularly well with high-fat blue cheese and desserts with honey, almonds or marzipan.
In conclusion, when it comes to choosing a Pinot Grigio there are many great options available. We’ve explored some of the best ones that offer a unique flavor profile, as well as quality and value for money. Whether you’re looking for a great everyday drink or something special to enjoy on special occasions, there is a Pinot Grigio out there that will fit your needs. With so many excellent wines to choose from, finding your favorite Pinot Grigio can be an exciting journey.
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