What Food Goes With Pinot Grigio Wine
Pinot Grigio is one of the most popular types of white wine and is perfect for pretty much any occasion.
Whether you’re winding down after a long day at work, you’re celebrating with your friends, or you want a glass of your favourite wine with your dinner, Pinot Grigio is always a great choice.
Pinot Grigio is a light wine, and pairs perfectly with light foods.
Certain foods and meals can have a negative effect on the taste of the wine, so it’s important to be careful when drinking Pinot Grigio with meals.
Keep reading to learn more about what food goes best with Pinot Grigio, as well as information on where it comes from, how it’s made, and how it tastes.
Where Does Pinot Grigio Come From?
Pinot Grigio comes from the Pinot Gris grape, which originated in France.
From France, it made its way to Northern Italy where the plant thrived, becoming increasingly popular.
Pinot Gris grapes are most commonly grown in the North East regions of Lombardy, Fruili, and Veneto.
Italy is the largest producer of Pinot Grigio in the world - wine made using grapes from this region has always been called Pinot Grigio.
Italian imports of Pinot Grigio are extremely popular in the UK and the US - people love the crisp and authentic taste.
Although Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio have different names, they’re made using the same grape, with different regions producing different styles and tastes.
It’s not just Italy and France that produce delicious Pinot Grigio - it’s produced all around the globe.
Some of the leading producers of the beverage (other than Italy and France) are Austria, New Zealand, and California.
How Is Pinot Grigio Made?
Like with any wine, Pinot Grigio is made by fermenting grapes. To get the signature taste we know and love, vintners will use the Pinot Gris grape.
This grape is generally a blue/grey colour and is appropriately named as ‘gris’ translates to ‘grey’ in French and Italian.
It comes from the Pinot grape family, along with Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir.
For the right taste and appearance, it’s important to pick the grapes at the right time - especially in hot summers. To retain the fresh acidity, the grapes are harvested early.
If it’s left too long before the grapes are picked from the vine, then the wine will end up low in acidity and won’t result in the familiar Pinot Grigio taste we know and love.
Pinot Grigio grapes are a mutation of the Pinot Noir grape from the same family.
Instead of dark wines, Pinot Grigio grapes produce light white wines - although the skins tend to have a blue/grey colour.
In the fermentation process, little yeasts (e.g saccharomyces cerevisiae) will consume the naturally occurring sugars in the grapes to produce co2 (bubbles), heat, and the key ingredient, alcohol.
For a sweeter taste and a more likeable wine, vintners may shorten this process so the yeast doesn’t consume all of the grape sugar.
Pinot Grigio is a dry wine with aromas of citrus, apple, pear, and honey.
Pinot Grigio’s signature ‘zing’ comes from the fermentation process - which happens in stainless steel tanks instead of barrels that other wines are fermented in.
Barrels aren’t generally used with Pinot Grigio because it can raise costs and result in a heavier taste, straying away from the fresh, crisp taste that Pinot Grigio typically has.
What Does Pinot Grigio Taste Like?
Pinot Grigio is one of the most popular white wines, and people love it for a reason. It’s a dry wine with a citrus flavour featuring green apple, lemon, lime, blossoms, and minerals.
You’ll find that most Pinot Grigio's don’t have a sweet taste, but lower quality bottles may be sweet due to a higher amount of residual sugar from the fining process.
It’s a perfect wine whether you don’t drink much wine or you’re a wine-lover. If you prefer a lighter-bodied wine, Pinot Grigio will hit the spot.
However, if you prefer a sweeter, full-bodied wine, then you’re likely to prefer a darker red.
Like with any wine, Pinot Grigio can taste different depending on where it was produced.
Pinot Grigio produced in Northern Italy embodies the taste we recognise the most - a refreshing taste with flavours of green apples, lemons, limes, and a subtle hint of honeysuckle.
Varieties from New Zealand and South Australia still hold the signature ‘zing’ we recognise in traditional Pinot Grigio.
But they feature more tropical flavours and are more complex than their Italian and French counterparts.
Pinot Gris from Alsace is a lot sweeter than Italian Pinot Grigio.
Although it’s made from Pinot Gris grapes, North-Eastern winemakers in France have a slightly different process.
This type of wine makes a great pairing with desserts due to the sweet taste - so if this is your style, then look for the term ‘late harvest’.
Some critics believe that Pinot Grigio is too simple a wine and that it doesn’t have a strong flavour - but this isn’t the case for all brands.
Although Pinot Grigio doesn’t have a super unique flavour, it’s a refreshing and crisp drink whether you’re celebrating, having an afternoon tipple, or enjoying a glass with your meal.
What Food Goes With Pinot Grigio Wine?
Wine often pairs perfectly with local food in the area it’s produced.
Pinot Grigio from the North East Coast of Italy is extremely popular, and pairs perfectly with dishes from this region.
In Northern Italy, you’ll find a lot of fish and seafood such as shrimp, lobster, crab, and mussels.
Some other Italian-style pairings that go perfectly with Pinot Grigio include tomato and basil based dishes with vegetables.
Although chicken and fish pair well with a glass of Pinot, red meat won’t mix well on the palate.
Sweeter wines tend to pair best with desserts. Full-bodied reds, ports, and sherries can enhance any dessert due to the high alcohol and sugar content.
Prosecco can also pair perfectly with many desserts - especially desserts that have a mixture of sweet and salty.
Pinot Grigio is a dry wine, so you may think that it won’t be the best drink for desserts, but this isn’t always the case.
If you fancy a glass of your favourite Pinot Grigio with your dessert, make sure that your dessert of choice isn’t too sweet.
If your dessert is full of sugar, it will dull the taste of your wine and drown out the flavours.
The best type of dessert to go with Pinot Grigio is a light, fruit-based dessert with Greek yoghurt.
Some wines pair perfectly with strong cheeses such as blue cheese, parmesan, and manchego - but unfortunately, Pinot Grigio isn’t one of them.
If you want to pair some cheese with your glass of Pinot, then it’s best to opt for a lighter cheese.
Some options include ricotta, mascarpone, mozzarella, and light Swiss cheeses.
Soft and mild cheeses pair best with Pinot Grigio, as this can help to bring out the sweeter, fruitier flavours of your favourite wine.
Cheeses such as brie, Parmigiano Reggiano are great options and are easily integrated into Italian style meals.
Cheese based meals can really complement your favourite Pinot Grigio, so why not create a cheesy chicken or seafood pasta-based meal to match your favourite drink.
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