Learn Your Wine: Pinot Grigio

By Betchy Crocker

In today’s edition of Learn a Wine, we’re going to explore Pinot Grigio; another betchy white wine. I mean, really, regardless of which TYPE of wine you drink, you’re still drinking wine which, sorry to say, is SLIGHTLY classier than chugging that Natty Ice. Go WVU!

Anyway, let’s explore the classy world of Pinot Grigio:


Okay so Pinot Grigio can be a tiny bit confusing, so let me put it into basic bitch terms: Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are made from the same fucking grape (it’s a WHITE grape with a grayish, brownish, pink skin) which originally came from France, where it was cultivated and subsequently called the Pinot Gris. However, across the border in Italy, the same grape is called Pinot Grigio, so that’s why it’s different but like, the same. The grape is the same, but the wines are different, because they’re made different ways.

Types and Tastes:

Because this is kind of a two for one deal, I’ll humor you and explain both Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris in case you went to the liquor store blacked out and got the wrong shit:

The best Pinot Grigios are produced in northern Italy. There are light-bodied varieties which are light (God Karen!), crisp, and should have a pear/apple/lemon smell but kind of a neutral taste. There are also medium-bodied Pinot Grigios with more in-depth fruit flavors while still remaining crisp (not so much light on this one). As the wine gets more expensive, the flavor becomes more acidic, more citrusy, and has a longer finish. Pinot Grigios have more of a straw color whereas Pinot Gris has more of a honey color.

Pinot Gris wines – especially the ones made in Alsace, France – are more full-bodied, rich, spicy and viscous (like, I hope you know what viscous means) in texture. They also age better, whereas most Pinot Grigios are best enjoyed early on in the aging process.

Drink with:

If you’re drinking a light-bodied Pinot Grigio, you need to have it with something light (duh) – think shrimp, quiche (ugh so fattening), or light hors d’oeuvres like smoked salmon, brie, etc.

A bolder or more medium-bodied Pinot Grigio can be served with chicken, white meat, and slightly richer fare.

Pinot Gris in pretty much any variety can also be enjoyed with lighter dishes including shrimp, chicken, light hors d’oeuvres, and most cheeses.

Congrats, betch. You now have a basic understanding of TWO white wines (if you haven’t read Learn Your Wine: Chardonnay, fucking get on it). Next week, we’ll branch into the wide world of red wine for a break. Bye Felicia!




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