Pinot Grigio Vs Pinot Noir: Comparing Flavor and Food Pairings

Wind drinkers choosing between Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Noir is more than red wine and white wine. There’s so much more to pinot noir and pinot grigio. Check out this guide to discover why each grape variety has become a staple of wine production worldwide.

Pinot Grigio Vs Pinot Noir

Pinot Grigio Vs Pinot Noir Flavor Comparison

There are a few layers to consider when comparing Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Noir flavor profiles. Let’s start with the most important point of comparison with pinot noir and pinot grigio– fruit flavors.

For most people, the fruit flavors in the wine stand out the most. Pinot Grigio’s fruit flavors typically include green apple, pear, lime, and flavors of lemon. On the other hand, the Pinot Noir grape variety typically has cherry and raspberry as its primary fruit flavors.

That said, each grape variety is grown in different locations and climates. Those differences translate into different tastes. For example, Pinot Grigio made in warmer climates tends to have a more robust fruity flavor and lower acidity. To learn more about this popular white wine, see my post on Pinot Grigio taste. Similarly, Pinot Noir produced in warmer climates tend to be closer to a sweet wine style with less acidity – what some people call exaggerated fruit flavors. On the other hand, Cool climates tend to produce wines with a lower sugar level. Focusing your drinking on wines from warmer climates like California makes sense if you like fruitier wines.

Differences in the winemaking process also impact the flavor of pinot noir and pinot grigio. For example, it is easier to notice a difference between pinot grigio and pinot noir when the wine is aged in oak barrels. Take Pinot Noir made in the French style in Burgundy as an example. Burgundy Pinot Noir is a rich wine known for its vanilla and spice notes because it is aged in oak. On the other hand, Italian style Pinot Noir (the Italian translation is Pinot Nero) has good acidity.

Pinot Nore vs Pinot Grigio Similarities

For the most part, these wines are quite different. Pinot Grigio is a white wine leader in the Italian wine market. In comparison, Pinot Noir is produced around the world. In terms of popularity, there is a difference between pinot grigio and pinot noir – pinot grigio may be more popular as an easy drinking wine.

They’re Both Called “Pinot”

Now, you might have noticed that the name of the wine grapes both has the word “pinot.” As with so much wine, pinot is a French word. It literally means “pine cone.” It was applied to wine because some clusters of wine look like a pine cones on the vine.

The same wine word is applied to wine types like pinot gris, pinot blanc, pinot Meunier, and pinot blanco. The picture gets even more complex when looking at Pinot Gris clones and regional varieties like Alsace pinot gris and North Coast pinot noir.

Similar Dry Wine

The vast majority of Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio is made in a dry wine style. You can probably find a sweet wine version of these wine grapes if you keep looking. Dry vs sweet is a less significant difference between pinot grigio and pinot noir.

Similar Acidity Levels                                        

As wine drinkers, it helps to know your way around the acidity levels in wine. Like other white varieties, Pinot Grigio tends to have a medium acidity level. On the other hand, Pinot Noir often has medium acidity. The citrus flavors found in Pinot Grigio mean this wine has a refreshing acidity. In comparison, the natural acidity of Pinot Noir is less significant.

Pinot Noir Vs Pinot Grigio Food Pairings

Finding the ideal pairings for Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Noir is a popular question for wine drinkers. Fortunately, pinot noir pinot grigio wines go well with a wide range of foods, including whitefish and fresh cheeses.

Fish Wine Pairings

As a general rule of thumb, seafood dishes tend to go with white wine grape wines such as Pinot Grigio. It is best to focus on light seafood dishes with minimal sauces, spices, and seasoning. A heavy cream sauce seafood dish doesn’t pair well with Pinot Grigio. Classic light seafood dishes that pair well with Pinot Grigio include whitefish, sea bass, snapper, tilapia, and flounder.

While drinking red wine with fish is less common, Pinot Noir works in some situations. Wine drinkers who enjoy fattier fish like salmon work with red wines such as Pinot Noir. Some wine drinkers also enjoy Pinot Noir with trout and mackerel. For more ideas on bringing together red wine and fish, check out this post on how to pair red wine with sushi.

Meat Pairings

There is a long-standing wine pairing principle: white grape with white meats. That idea certainly applies to white wines like Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. Light meats such as grilled chicken and pork dishes work well with Pinot Grigio.

With a bottle of red wine like Pinot Noir, you have different options. Light meats like chicken are still a good choice. In addition, you can also enjoy this wine with beef stew and game meats like duck.

Wine Region Comparison

When you plan a wine tasting at home, having a central theme is fun. For example, you might want to explore how differences in climate and the winemaking process influence pinot noir pinot grigio wine flavor. Try comparing American styles of Pinot Noir (e.g., Oregon Pinot Noir) to the same grape grown in other regions such as Burgundy.

You can also compare how American Pinot Grigio tastes to wine made in an Italian style. You will probably still notice flavors of lemon in each case. Yet a thoughtful comparison of these wines will reveal other differences. This kind of wine comparison makes your life better because you can discover new wines. If you have always had American Pinot Grigio, stretching yourself to try an Italian bottle can be an eye-opening experience in the best way.

Pinot Grigio Vs Pinot Noir In Summary

Comparing Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio is one of the most straightforward comparisons in wine. The berry flavors and berry flavors are so different that you can tell the difference between pinot grigio and pinot noir right away. The distinct acidity of Pinot Grigio makes it an excellent choice for a refreshing drink in hot weather. Unlike sparkling wine, you don’t have to worry about Pinot Grigio going flat. White wine drinkers often enjoy  Pinot Noir because it is relatively light in body compared to many other red wines.

Pinot Grigio Vs Pinot Noir: Comparing Flavor and Food Pairings
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