Pinot Grigio vs Moscato Wine: The Ultimate Comparison Guide

Pinot Grigio and Moscato are two popular white wines that are appreciated by wine enthusiasts across the globe. Both wines originate from Italy and are known for their light, fruity flavors, and refreshing taste. In comparing these two white wines, understanding their unique characteristics, flavor profiles, and ideal food pairings can greatly enhance the wine-drinking experience.

Pinot Grigio, also known as Pinot Gris, is a versatile and crisp white wine with a light to medium body. It is characterized by its refreshing taste, which presents delicate fruity and floral aromas. On the other hand, Moscato is a sweet and fruity wine with a low alcohol content. It is known for its aromatic, sweet, and refreshing flavors, making it a popular choice for dessert wines and accompanying fruits and light pastries.

Key Takeaways

Overview of Pinot Grigio and Moscato Wine

Pinot Grigio and Moscato are two popular types of wine that offer distinct characteristics, flavors, and profiles. While they both come from different grape varieties, they each possess unique attributes that make them enjoyable in their own right.

Pinot Grigio

This white wine is also known as Pinot Gris, is a white grape variety that originates from the Burgundy region of France. Over time, this grape variety has spread to various regions, including Italy, where it has become a popular choice for wine production. Pinot Grigio wine has a light to medium body, crisp acidity, and flavors of green fruit, citrus, and minerality. This type of wine is best enjoyed while it is young and fresh, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of food pairings, including seafood, light pastas, and salads.


On the other hand, Moscato is a sweet wine made from the Muscat grape, which is one of the oldest grape varieties known. Moscato wine is primarily produced in Italy, but it is also grown in various regions around the world, such as France, Austria, and Spain. Moscato wine is generally sweet, with flavors of peach, nectarine, and orange blossom. Its low acidity and fragrant aroma make it an appealing option for dessert pairings, or as an aperitif.

When comparing Pinot Grigio vs Moscato, it is essential to consider the following differences:

  • Body: Pinot Grigio has a light to medium body, while Moscato is on the lighter side with a more delicate mouthfeel.
  • Acidity: Pinot Grigio is known for its crisp acidity, whereas Moscato has a lower acidity level, contributing to its sweetness.
  • Flavor profile: Pinot Grigio offers flavors of green fruit, citrus, and minerality, while Moscato has a fruitier profile with flavors of peach, nectarine, and orange blossom.
  • Sweetness: Pinot Grigio is typically dry or off-dry, while Moscato is a sweet wine, making it ideal for dessert pairings.
  • Food pairings: Pinot Grigio pairs well with light and fresh dishes, such as seafood and salads, while Moscato is often enjoyed with desserts or as an aperitif.

In conclusion, both Pinot Grigio and Moscato wines offer unique and enjoyable drinking experiences. The choice between these two varieties ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific occasion or food pairing in mind.

Differences Between Pinot Grigio and Moscato

Flavour Profiles

Pinot Grigio is characterized by its crisp, refreshing flavor profile. This Italian white wine variety tends to have fruity notes, such as green apple, pear, and citrus, with a touch of minerality. On the other hand, Moscato is a sweeter wine with a more pronounced fruity and floral taste. Peach, apricot, orange blossom, and honeysuckle are typical flavors in Moscato wines, which make them more aromatic than Pinot Grigio.

Color and Aroma

The color of Pinot Grigio ranges from pale straw yellow to light copper, while Moscato has a golden hue. Aromas in Pinot Grigio mainly revolve around citrus, lemon, and green apple, emphasising the wine’s crisp nature. Moscato, however, leans towards floral and fruity, with orange blossom, honeysuckle, melon, and peach being more dominant in its aromatic spectrum.

Alcohol Content and Body

Pinot Grigio generally has a higher alcohol content (ABV) than Moscato. It typically ranges from 12–13.5%, while Moscato’s ABV is often between 5–7%. This results in a noticeable difference in the body of the wines. Pinot Grigio is known for being a lighter-bodied, dry white wine, which makes it versatile and food-friendly. Conversely, Moscato’s lower alcohol content and higher residual sweetness result in a fuller-bodied, sweet wine that is typically enjoyed as a dessert wine or with spicy cuisines to balance the heat.

Specific Types of Pinot Grigio and Moscato

Pinot Grigio and Moscato are popular white wine varieties known for their distinct flavors and aromas. While both have numerous types, this section focuses on specific ones: Pinot Gris, Moscato Bianco, Ruffino Moscato d’Asti, and Barefoot Moscato.

Pinot Gris

It is a mutation of the Pinot Noir grape that originated in France. This type of Pinot Grigio has flavors ranging from pear and apple to citrus and floral notes. The wine is produced in various regions, including Alsace, Oregon, and Italy, where the grape is known as Pinot Grigio. It can be enjoyed in a range of styles, from light and crisp to full-bodied and rich. The color of Pinot Gris can vary from pale straw to golden yellow, depending on where it’s grown and the winemaking process.

Moscato Bianco

This varietal is also known as Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, is the most common variety of Moscato wine. It originated in Italy, where it is used to produce Asti, a sweet, sparkling wine with low alcohol content. Moscato Bianco has a delightful floral aroma with hints of orange blossom, peach, and apricot. Its flavor profile is characterized by a vibrant sweetness, low acidity, and a subtle fizz. This versatile wine can be enjoyed on its own or paired with desserts and cheese plates.

Ruffino Moscato d’Asti

It is a specific example of Moscato wine made from the Moscato Bianco grape. Produced in the Asti region of Piedmont, Italy, it offers a delicate balance of sweetness and acidity, with flavors of peach, apricot, and hints of honey. It has a light effervescence, making it an excellent choice for celebrations. Ruffino Moscato d’Asti complements fruity desserts, creamy cheeses, and spicy cuisine.

Barefoot Moscato

A Californian wine made from Muscat grapes. Affordable and easily accessible, it boasts a fruity and sweet profile with flavors of peach, apricot, and ripe nectarine. Its refreshing, crisp finish makes it a popular choice for casual gatherings or enjoying a glass at the end of the day. Barefoot Moscato pairs well with light appetizers, desserts, and spicy dishes.

In conclusion, Pinot Grigio and Moscato wines offer a range of flavors, styles, and aromas that suit a variety of palates and occasions. Exploring the specific types mentioned can help wine enthusiasts better appreciate the diversity of these delightful white wines.

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Food Pairing Strategies

Pinot Grigio and Moscato are two popular white wines that differ not only in flavor profiles but also in their food pairing options. When choosing the right wine for your meal, it is essential to consider the best possible matches that can enhance the flavor of both the wine and the food.

Pinot Grigio

This is a refreshing and crisp wine known for its zesty citrus notes and light minerality. It’s versatile and pairs well with a variety of light dishes. Seafood and fish dishes, such as grilled shrimp or halibut, complement the clean and bright flavors of Pinot Grigio. Chicken dishes, including roasted or grilled, can also be a great match as they do not overpower the delicateness of the wine. Pasta dishes with lighter, cream-based sauces are another fantastic pairing option.

Some specific food pairings for Pinot Grigio include:

  • Seafood dishes: shrimp scampi, scallops, ceviche
  • Fish dishes: grilled halibut, lemon herb salmon, pan-seared sea bass
  • Chicken dishes: rosemary roasted chicken, grilled lemon chicken
  • Pasta dishes: fettuccine alfredo, shrimp and asparagus pasta


It is a sweeter wine with floral and fruity characteristics, often featuring notes of honeysuckle, peach, and orange blossom. It is commonly paired with spicy foods, making it an excellent choice for dishes with a kick, such as Thai cuisine. The sweetness of Moscato can help balance out the heat in spicy dishes, while the spices in food can highlight the wine’s fruity aromas.

When it comes to charcuterie boards, Moscato is better suited to pair with sweeter items like fruits and honey, while Pinot Grigio complements savory options such as salami and a variety of cheeses. The wine’s refreshing acidity acts as a counterbalance to the richness of the charcuterie board.

Some specific food pairings for Moscato include:

  • Spicy dishes: Thai green curry, spicy shrimp tacos, Szechuan chicken
  • Charcuterie board: prosciutto-wrapped melon, honey-drizzled brie, apricots
  • Desserts: fruit tarts, peach cobbler, lemon sorbet

In summary, food pairing strategies for both Pinot Grigio and Moscato should enhance the dining experience by emphasizing the complementary flavors and textures of the respective wines. Whether you prefer the light and refreshing citrus notes of Pinot Grigio or the sweeter, fruit-forward flavors of Moscato, there are numerous options that can elevate your meal and bring out the best in each wine.

When and How to Serve

Pinot Grigio and Moscato wines are both popular choices for a variety of occasions, but their unique characteristics lend themselves to different serving scenarios. In this section, you will learn when and how to serve each type of wine.

Pinot Grigio

It is a light, refreshing white wine known for its crisp acidity and subtle fruit flavors. It is best served chilled, between 42-50 degrees Fahrenheit (6-10 degrees Celsius). This makes it an excellent choice for warm weather events, like outdoor gatherings or sunny brunches. Pinot Grigio pairs well with light dishes, such as grilled fish, salads, and poultry. Its bright acidity cuts through the richness of creamy sauces, while also enhancing the flavors of more delicate fare.

When serving Pinot Grigio, use a white wine glass with a medium-sized bowl that allows the wine to breathe, while also maintaining its desired temperature. Give the wine sufficient time to reach its optimal serving temperature before enjoying.


This white wine on the other hand, is a sweeter, more aromatic white wine known for its fruit-forward flavors and low alcohol content. It is often considered a dessert wine, and is best enjoyed chilled between 46-50 degrees Fahrenheit (8-10 degrees Celsius). This temperature allows the wine’s sweetness to shine without compromising its natural acidity and effervescence. Moscato makes an ideal companion for various desserts, such as fruit tarts, mild cheeses, and creamy pastries.

Besides dessert pairings, Moscato could also be an appropriate aperitif, particularly for those who prefer a sweeter start to their meal. When serving this wine, opt for a smaller-bowled wine glass, such as a tulip glass or a dessert wine glass, to concentrate the aromas and heighten the sensory experience.

In summary, both Pinot Grigio and Moscato offer distinct and enjoyable wine experiences. By considering the appropriate serving temperatures, glassware, and food pairings, you can elevate each wine’s unique qualities and enhance your overall enjoyment.

Choosing Between Pinot Grigio and Moscato

When deciding which wine to choose between Pinot Grigio and Moscato for a dinner party or a relaxing evening at home, there are several factors to consider.



Firstly, your budget plays a vital role in making a choice. Typically, Pinot Grigio wines tend to be slightly more expensive than Moscato wines. This is attributed to the grapes’ high demand and smaller growing areas for Pinot Grigio. If you’re on a tighter budget, Moscato might be the more affordable option.

Personal Preferences

They should also be considered when choosing a wine. Pinot Grigio is a crisp, light-bodied wine, with flavors of apple, pear, and citrus. On the other hand, Moscato is a sweet, fruity wine with notes of peach, apricot, and honey. If you prefer a drier, more refreshing wine, Pinot Grigio is for you. Conversely, if you enjoy sweeter, more aromatic wines, Moscato will be a better fit.

For those seeking an easy-drinking wine, either option may do just fine. Pinot Grigio’s light body and dry, clean finish make it an easy choice for various occasions. Moscato, with its sweetness and gentle fizz, is also easy to sip and enjoy.

Wine styles

Lastly, your choice may also depend on your taste for traditional wines. Pinot Grigio, originating from Italy, has a long history in winemaking and often pairs well with seafood, salads, and mild cheeses. Its lighter, crisp taste makes it an elegant option for a formal dinner party. Moscato wine, also from Italy, can be traced back to ancient Rome and comes in various styles – from still to sparkling, and even dessert wines. Its fruity sweetness makes it a popular choice for casual gatherings or as an after-dinner treat.

In conclusion, when choosing between Pinot Grigio and Moscato, consider factors such as budget, personal preferences, desired drinkability, and the level of tradition you wish to bring to your table.

Hi, my name is Christina Day, and I am a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur. It is my favorite alcoholic drink, and I enjoy nothing better than kicking back on the sofa after a long week of work to enjoy a glass of wine… or two!

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