Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are white wines made from the exact same species of Pinot grape. However, the differences between Pinot Gris, grown in France, and Pinot Grigio, grown in northern Italy, go beyond just a different language for the same wine.
In fact, these wines are different in just about any way wines can be different: color, flavor profile, dryness, and body. This guide breaks down all you need to know in comparing Pinot Gris vs Pinot Grigio, plus gives recipe recommendations for the best pairings!
What type of wine is Pinot Gris?
Pinot Gris is a dry-to-sweet white wine made from Pinot grapes grown in France. This zesty white wine is typically a medium-bodied, sweet wine that pairs exceptionally well with chicken, fish, seafood, and spicy cuisines.
Pinot Gris grape variety and region
The Pinot Gris grapes are the same variety of Pinot grapes used to make Pinot Grigio in Northern Italy. A lighter-skinned variety of the red grape Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris grapes are cultivated in Alsace, France. "Gris" comes from the French word for "grey" and describes the grayish-blue color of the ripened grapes.
Is Pinot Gris sweet or dry?
Pinot Gris can range from dry to fairly sweet depending on how long the grapes ripen before being harvested. Pinot Gris has more sweetness than Pinot Grigio in general.
Is Pinot Gris lighter than Pinot Grigio?
No, quite the opposite. Pinot Grigio is lighter and more acidic than Pinot Gris. Pinot Gris is the sweeter of the two.
What does Pinot Gris taste like?
Pinot Gris typically is sweeter than Pinot Grigio with lower acidity and higher alcohol levels. This sweeter wine has notes of honey, gingery spice, and fruit, ranging from lemon, lime, pear, nectarine, and green apple. Typically a medium-bodied wine, Pinot Gris varies from light and zesty to more full-bodied and oily. The tasting notes (most notably fruit notes and spiciness) can vary depending on the winemaking techniques used.
Should Pinot Gris be chilled or warm?
For the best flavor profile, Pinot Gris should be served chilled between 45-49°F (7-9°C).
What is Pinot Gris good with?
Now that we know what Pinot Gris is, it must be asked: What does Pinot Gris pair well with? This medium-bodied, sweet, and spicy wine pairs well with chicken, pork, veal, fish (particularly Salmon), sushi, and shellfish such as clams, oysters, and mussels. The sweetness pairs well with the spiciness of Indian and Asian cuisines as well.
Here are some of our best recipes to pair with Pinot Gris:
- Chicken: 27 Delicious Dutch Oven Chicken Recipes
- Fish: Herb-Grilled Salmon (Olive Graden Copycat Recipe)
- Sushi: 25 Sushi Recipes You’ll Love
- Indian: 24 Vegetarian Indian Recipes
What is Pinot Grigio wine?
Pinot Grigio is the second most popular white wine in the United States. A light-bodied wine with a very pale yellow color, Pino Grigio is often dry (less sweet than Pinot Gris) and crisp with a high acidity level. Grown in northern Italy, Pinot Grigio is known for its citrusy notes.
What region does Pinot Grigio come from?
While the Pinot grapes that form the basis of Pinot Grigio are today grown in regions around the world, the name Pinot Grigio is Italian for “grey Pinot.” Northern Italy was the original region for this wine and is still considered the best region for its cultivation. The Pinot Grigio grapes are the same variety of Pinot grapes used to make Pinot Gris in France.
Is Pinot Grigio slightly sweet?
Pinot Grigio is a dry white wine with high acidity and low sugar, meaning it is not a sweet wine. If a sweeter white wine is what you’re after, Pinot Gris would be a better choice.
Is Pinot Grigio a light or heavy wine?
Pinot Grigio is a light white wine, while Pinot Gris is medium-bodied.
What does Pinot Grigio wine taste like?
Pinot Grigio is more acidic and less sweet than Pinot Gris and is said to have a crisp, dry taste with lemon-lime, pear, and apple notes. In general, Pinot Grigio has less flavor complexity than Pinot Gris.
Should Pinot Grigio be chilled before serving?
For the best flavor profile, Pinot Grigio should be served at a temperature of 45-49°F (7-9°C).
What does Pinot Grigio pair well with?
Because it’s a dry, neural wine that is served chilled, Pinot Grigio pairs best with light, fresh foods. Salads, fruits, pasta dishes (not creamy), chicken and seafood are common pairings for Pinot Grigio. This wine is said to pair well with spices like thyme, fennel, ginger, saffron, and white pepper.
Here are some of our best recipes to pair with Pinot Grigio:
- Chicken: Chili’s Margarita Grilled Chicken Copycat Recipe
- Fish: Simple Salmon Ceviche
- Pasta: Lightened-Up Gigi Hadid Pasta
- Salad: Refreshing Greek Salad and Watermelon Berry Salad
Summary: Are Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio the same?
Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are white wines made from the same species of grapes. Because they are cultivated in different regions, the resulting wines are distinctly different. Here are the key differences when comparing Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris:
- Region: The Pinot Gris grapes are grown in Alsace, France, while Pinot Grigio grapes are grown in northern Italy. The different terrains and weather of these regions influence the characteristics of the resulting wines.
- Color: Pinot Gris is typically darker and more yellow in color. Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, is a much lighter yellow to almost clear.
- Body and Acidity: Pinot Grigio is lighter-bodied with high acidity and crisp notes. Pinot Gris is medium-bodied with moderate acidity and sweeter, herbal undertones.
- Flavor notes: Pinot Gris is a fuller-bodied, sweeter wine with touches of spice and a hint of herbal and fruity aromas. Pinot grigio is a lighter-bodied and crisper wine with less sweetness and citrus aromas.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: Is Pinot Gris the same thing as Pinot Grigio?
A: Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are both white wines made from the same grape variety. The grapes are grown in different regions, however (Pinot Gris in France and Pinot Grigio in northern Italy). This coupled with different harvest times gives the resulting wines distinctly different flavours, colors, and bodies.
Q2: Is Pinot Gris sweeter than Pinot Grigio?
A: Pinot Gris typically is sweeter than Pinot Grigio. Pinot Gris has lower acidity and higher alcohol levels with notes of honey, gingery spice, and sweet lemon. Pinot grigio is a lighter-bodied and crisper wine with less sweetness and citrus notes.
Q3: Which is lighter Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio?
A: Pinot grigio is lighter-bodied than Pinot Gris, with a crispness and notes of citrus flavors. Pinot gris is the sweeter of the two with a heavier body and gingery undertones.