Pinot Gris vs Pinot Grigio

  • Wine   •   February 6, 2019

For the 2018 season, the Australian & New Zealand Boutique Wine Show has added in a class dedicated to Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio.

The number of Gris/Grigio entries in previous years showed a strong and consistent increase, and it just made sense. As a result, the feedback from boutique winemakers has been amazing. But whilst this may make sense to the trade, us mere mortal wine lovers want to know what the difference is between Gris & Grigio?

Let me keep this short and to the point – so you can get on with drinking your pinot!

  • Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are the exact same grape variety
  • The grape is white, with a grayish / pink skin (hence the name gris, or gray, in French)
  • So why have two names for the same grape? The two names have come to infer two different styles of wine.
  • The Italian style Pinot Grigio wines are typically harvested earlier, lower in alcohol, lighter-bodied, crisp, drier & fresh – in a single word ZESTY!
  • In contrast, the French style Pinot Gris wines are richer, softer, spicier, and more generously textured. They also tend to have greater cellaring and ageing potential – RICHER!
  • What to match with – Pinot Grigio (ZESTY) is better suited to enjoying with lighter dishes such grilled seafood, salads or light appetisers. Pinot Gris (RICHER) styles enables them to work with beef stews, roast chicken, lobster as well as hard cheeses.

What about cooking with wine….?

Meats, Seafood and Shellfish

Substitute Pinot Gris for water when steaming shellfish like clams or mussels or when you sauté shrimp, crab, scallops, or tender vegetables. Heat the wine slightly before adding the proteins and seasonings to avoid making them tough, as cold wine can do.


Blend Pinot Gris, extra virgin olive oil and the contents of a package of dried salad dressing mix for a marinade with a personal touch. Use dill dip mix and parsley for fish. Oregano, thyme, garlic or red pepper flakes give Brussels sprouts, broccoli and meats extra zing.

Salad Dressings

Substitute Pinot Gris for vinegar or citrus juice when blending homemade dressings. Add some good quality olive oil and herbs or blend the wine with marmalade or jelly before drizzling in the oil. Simmer creamy peppercorn salad dressing with a few tablespoons of Pinot Gris for a rich sauce for steaks and roasts.

Cooking with wine suggestions sourced from Our Everyday Life

Fancy whipping up something in the kitchen? Check out these 12 dishes that go Gaga for Pinot G

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