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Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay: The Ultimate 2022 Handy Wine Guide

Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay
This is our comparison of Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay. Enjoy!

This is our comparison of Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay. We’ve extensively researched these two popular wines to help you pick the best for you.

Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay are very popular white wine in the world. One of the pluses of Pinot Grigio is that it is affordable too. 🤩

Pinot Grigio and Unoaked Chardonnay share some similarities in terms of food pairings and structure. They both tend to be light and crisp. 

Oaked Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, on the other hand, have more complexity, a different structure, and pairs well with bolder flavors dishes.

Our recommendation for Best Value Pinot Grigio is Italo Cescon Pinot Grigio and for Best Overall is Vie di Romans – Dessimis Pinot Grigio 2019.

Our recommendation for Best Value Chardonnay is Régnard Grand Régnard Chablis 2019.

For Best Overall Chardonnay we recommend Domaine Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru ‘Morgeot’ Blanc 2018.

You’ll find below our recommendation for you. Let’s begin with the review!

Wine Selection Overview

Find below our Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay wine selection for you where you’ll find our recommendation for you.

Pinot Grigio Selection

Cielo e Terra
Pinot Grigio
3.7/5

It has straw yellow with green reflections.

It has bread crust and green apple. It has fresh and drinkable, perfect on a hot day.

You’ll find it for less than $10. That’s a pretty good value for money if you ask me!

Italo Cescon
Pinot Grigio
4.1/5

This wine has a straw yellow color, intense, with slight notes of nutmeg, peach leaf broken citrus. Dry and cool.

Net ripe and fruity scents, all the orange zest, full flavor fills the long mouth.

Ah, it cost less than $20… I’ll be quick if I were you.

Vie di Romans - Dessimis Pinot Grigio 2019
4.4/5

This is not the usual Pinot Grigio and it will blow you away. 

“Delightful Pinot Grigio, easily the best I’ve had to date” says Chiara & Philippe from the Vivino community.

Copper-colored from the natural grape skin tint. The bouquet is full of sweet pastry aromas, scents of Williams pear skin, and notes of yellow fruit.

Expect a medium-body wine with complex oak, pear, peach, and honey notes. 

Chardonnay Selection

Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier
2020
4.1/5

This delicious Chardonnay offers and incredible value for money.

Here is an extract from Vivino Editor’s note: “Inspired By France’s Best, Napa’s Pine Ridge Packs an Almost Impossible Amount of Deliciousness Into a Sub-$13 Package with This 4.1 ★ 2020 Napa White!”

What are you still waiting for???🤩

Régnard Grand
Régnard Chablis
2019
4.4/5

There are many great wines around, but this one offers an incredible price-quality ratio! I’d be quick if I were you…

Bright, pale-straw accented with green reflections. On the nose it is elegant and fresh with notes of green apples, lemon and apricot, it has a notable intense aroma.

On the palate it is rich, rounded and mellow. There are ample ripe lemony fruit and white peach flavors.

Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 'Morgeot' Blanc 2018
4/5

We love this one and we are not the only one! This an extract from the Vivino Editor’s note:

“The Morgeot premier cru sits on the border between Côte d’Or and Saône-et-Loire regions—a Roman-era plot that sits atop a bed of chalk and limestone soils.

It’s a coveted piece of real estate, with neighbors like Louis Latour and Louis Jadot. We think this Morgeot is the cream of the crop.”

Comparison

Let’s now take a closer look at the difference between Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay so that you’ll have enough details to make an informed decision.

#1 - Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay: Regions

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay from regions and wine styles points of view.

Regions and winemaking techniques influence the taste profiles of both wines. The typical taste profiles depending on the region, for Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay, are as follows:

Cool climates help Pinot Grigio grow at its best and mature relatively early causing high sugar levels. 

Depending on the vinification style, this can lead to either a wine high in alcohol if fermented to dryness, or a sweeter wine.

Minerally and Dry Pinot Grigio is primarily from the northern part of Italy and precisely Lombardia, Trentino Alto Adige, and Veneto.

Fruity and Dry Prinot Grigio is primarily from Italy (north-east Italy, Toscana, Abruzzo, and Sicilia, USA (California, Oregon, and Washington), and New Zealand.

Fruity and Sweet Pinot Gris is primarily from Alsace in France. 

Find more about Pinot Grigio here.

Chardonnay’s an extremely versatile grape that grows worldwide in different climates and soil. Chardonnay does best in clay, limestone, and chalky soil. 

The climate affects the tasting profile of the wine in the following ways:

In cool climates, Chardonnay tends to be mineral with citrus flavor, high acidity, and medium body. 

Regional areas examples: France (Champagne, Burgundy), Northern Italy, US (Sonoma Coast), New Zealand.

In warm climates, Chardonnay tends to have tropical and stone fruit ripe flavor, lower acidity, and full body. 

If the over-ripening is not properly controlled it will considerably reduce aromas and acidity. 

Regional areas examples:  Southern Italy, South Australia, and South Africa. Find more about Chardonnay here.

#2 - Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay: Taste Profile

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay from a taste profile point of view.

Pinot Grigio (minerally and fruity style) it’s known for its dryness, high acidity, light-body, lemon, and apple notes. 

Pinot Gris (Alsace) on the other hand has more body, lower acidity, more complexity, and is sweeter.

Here is a brief overview of Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris typical flavors:

  • Pinot Grigio Minerally and Dry: apple, lemon zest, mineral.
  • Pinot Grigio Fruity and Dry: apple, lemon, white peach, pear, creamy.
  • Pinot Gris Fruity and Sweet: sweet lemon candy, honey, ginger, spice, ripe pear.

Chardonnay is a dry to off-dry wine with a pale lemon to deep gold color. Depending on the style it can be light, fresh, and crisp if unoaked or rich, buttery and full-bodied if oaked.

Typical flavors for unoaked Chardonnay are lemon zest, peach, honeysuckle, and green fruit or tropical fruit depending on the ripeness.

These wines tend to have medium-high acidity and a medium-full body.

Typical flavors for oaked Chardonnay are butter, vanilla, spice, apple, chalk, and citrus fruit for cool climates or tropical fruit for warm climates.

The wines tend to have medium-low acidity and a medium-full body.

#3 Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay: Food Pairings

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay from a food pairings point of view.

Both Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay are versatile wines and pair very well with many dishes. You’ll find below some suggestions.

Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris pairings depend on the style. 

Pinot Grigio goes well with salad and salty foods like french fries and salty olives. Chicken, shellfish, and grilled fish are common pairings. 

Cheese wise go with soft (Philadelphia) and creamy (Brie) cheese for the minerally version. Semi-soft (Fontina) and firm (Beaufort) for the fruity version.

Pinot Gris pairs well with stronger flavors like foie gras, cream sources, grilled vegetables, reach veal, pork, and meaty fish.

Cheese wise go for blue mold and hard cheese like Gorgonzola and Pecorino. 

Chardonnay pairings depend on the style. 

Unoaked Chardonnay goes well with salad, veggie risotto, paté, chicken, shellfish, sushi. Cheese wise go with fresh cheese like goat cheese.

Oaked Chardonnay can be paired with bolder flavors like prosciutto crudo, pumpkin, pork, grilled meat, roast chicken, grilled fish smoked salmon, and crab cakes. 

Cheese wise go for cream to triple cream cheese like Brie or Brillat-Savarin. 

#4 Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay: Serve & Store

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay in terms of serving and storing the wine.

Pinot Grigio shouldn’t be decanted. The service temperature and the storing period depend on the style.

For Minerally and Fruity Pinot Grigio serve at  45 – 50 °F (7 – 10 °C) in a Pinot Grigio or Viognier glass.[1]

The recommended storing period is 2-3 years for normal bottles.

For Pinot Gris off-dry serve at 45 – 50 °F (7 – 10 °C) in a Pinot Grigio or Viognier glass. For Pinot Gris, sweet serve at 43 – 56 °F (6 – 8 °C) in a Fortified glass. 

Chardonnay shouldn’t be decanted. The service temperature and the storing period depend on the style.

For Unoaked Chardonnay serve at  45 – 50 °F (7 – 10 °C) in a Chardonnay or Viognier glass. The recommended storing period is 2-3 years for normal bottles.

For Oaked Chardonnay serve at  50 – 55 °F (10 – 13 °C) in a Chardonnay or Viognier glass. The recommended storing period is 5-7 years for normal bottles.

#5 Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay: Pricing

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay from a price comparison point of view.

Pinot Grigio is an affordable wine. The price generally ranges from $10 – $30. Where $10 is usually the IGT Italian style and $30 the Alsatian style.

Chardonnay’s price range is on average between $10-$50. You’ll find more expensive Chardonnay over $100 especially from France, Italy, and the US. 

If you are after some luxury bottle, there is a rare example of over $10’000 a bottle, yes $10’000, such as Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru.

Our Verdict

If you have been through the guide, by now you are a Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay expert!

Both Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay are great wines and you should now have a good idea of what to expect from them.   

Our recommendation is therefore based on what you’d fancy the most at a particular given moment or event. 

Pinot Grigio and Unoaked Chardonnay are usually good choices for a hot summer day since they are refreshing, very light, and easy to drink.

Pinot Gris and Oaked Chardonnay offers more complexity and can be paired with bolder flavors like grilled meat or fish. It’s therefore a more all-year-round wine in a sense.

Our recommendation for Best Value Pinot Grigio is Italo Cescon Pinot Grigio and for Best Overall is Vie di Romans – Dessimis Pinot Grigio 2019.

Our recommendation for Best Value Chardonnay is Régnard Grand Régnard Chablis 2019.

For Best Overall Chardonnay we recommend Domaine Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru ‘Morgeot’ Blanc 2018.

As always make sure to serve them at the right temperature to enjoy them at their best.

Why You Can Trust Us?

Wine is our passion and our mission is to make the world of wine more accessible to you and by doing so enhancing your experience.

We try our best to find high quality wines that offer great value for money so that they have a light weight on your wallet as well!🤩

Finally, all the content we publish on this site has been written or overseen by wine certificate holders.

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