Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris: What Are The 8 Important Differences To Know?

Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris
This is our comparison of Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris. Do you know what are the 8 important differences? Let's find out!

This is our comparison of Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris. We’ve extensively researched the various Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris styles to help you pick the best for you.

The main difference between Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris is their styles and where they are produced. As the name suggests, they both come from the same grape. 

For Pinot Grigio expect a dry wine with medium-high acidity, medium-light body with aromas of apple, and lemon zest or white peach, and pear depending on the style. 

For Pinot Gris expect a sweeter wine with medium-full body, medium-low acidity, with sweet lemon candy, honey, ginger, and spice aromas. 

Find below our wine guide on the most important differences between these two great wines.

There are at least three main Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris styles, these are our recommendations for you:

For Minerally and Dry Pinot Grigio go for Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Valdadige.

For Fruity and Dry Pinot Grigio go for Jermann Pinot Grigio 2020.

For Fruity and Sweet Pinot Gris go for Hugel Classic Pinot Gris 2018.

Let’s begin with the review!

Wine Selection Overview

Find below our Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris wine selection, where you’ll find our recommendation for you.

Minerally and Dry Pinot Grigio Selection

Pasqua Vigneti Pinot Grigio delle Venezie
4/5

Of straw yellow color, the nose has floral scents reminiscent of the scent of acacia flowers, with hints of pear.

The flavor is intense and very harmonious, fruity notes of pear and apple.

Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Valdadige
4/5

This dry white wine has a straw yellow color.

Its clean, intense aroma and bone-dry taste with an appealing flavor of golden delicious apples.

Pacherhof Pinot Grigio 2020
4/5

White wine with brilliant straw-yellow color with greenish shimmer.

Fruity aroma with impressions of apple and almonds.

On the palate the wine is racy, with a round and harmonious finish.

Fruity and Dry Pinot Grigio Selection

Italo Cescon
Pinot Grigio
4.3/5

It has 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 long mouth.

Jermann Pinot Grigio 2020
4/5

It has an intense straw-yellow color with a light nuance of antique rose. Its aroma is intense, full and fruity, with excellent persistence.

Its taste is dry, velvety, and particularly well-orchestrated for its full body.

Sanct Valentin Pinot Grigio 2019
4.3/5

The fine, elegant aromas are reminiscent of honey produced from blossom and tropical fruits.

Pleasant vanilla fragrances and a light, buttery taste are noted in the palate.

Fruity and Sweet Pinot Gris Selection

Trimbach Pinot Gris Alsace Réserve 2014
3.9/5

Very ripe and harmonious style.

Rich with yellow juicy peaches on the nose as well as ripe pears. 

Full bodied with ripe smoky tropical fruit flavors and a long slightly nutty finish.

Hugel Classic Pinot Gris 2018
4/5

Great 4-star wine from Alsace.

Green apple, pineapple, honeysuckle and pear on the nose.

Tangerine and tropical fruit on the palate. Medium body and acidity.

Trimbach Pinot Gris Réserve Personnelle
4/5

Exquisite 4-star wine from Alsace.

Wildflower honey, rich stone fruit, dried lemon peel. 

Medium body, off dry plus, smooth texture.

Comparison

Let’s now take a closer look at the difference between Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris and their three main styles, so that you’ll have enough details to make an informed decision.

Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris: Where are they produced?

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

There are primarily 2 Pinot Grigio styles:

  • Minerally and Dry style which is produced are Lombardia, Trentino Alto Adige, and Veneto in the northern part of Italy.

    Other important regions are Austria, Canada, Chile, and Germany. 

  • Fruity and Dry style is primarily produced in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Toscana, and Sicily in Italy; California, Oregon, and Washington in the USA, and New Zealand.

    Other important regions are Argentina, Australia, Chile, and South Africa. 

Pinot Gris style is produced in Alsace in France.

Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris: Which grapes are used to produce them?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris from a grape point of view.

Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are made with same grapes called Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris depending on the region.

Both are white-wine grape varieties of the species Vitis vinifera.

Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris: What's their alcohol content?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris from an alcohol content point of view.

Alcohol content or more precisely Alcohol By Volume, i.e. ABV, measures the alcoholic strength of a drink.

There is a direct relationship between the sugar left in the wine after the alcoholic fermentation has taken place, i.e. Residual Sugar or RS, and ABV.

During the alcoholic fermentation, the yeast transforms the sugar in the grape juice into alcohol.

Grapes with high residual sugar will therefore produce dry wine with a high ABV.

Depending on the different styles, Pinot Grigio’s ABV is usually between 10% to 14%, whereas Pinot Gris’s ABV ranges between 12% to 14%. 

Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris: What's their taste profile?

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

Pinot Grigio Minerally and Dry style is very light and refreshing thanks to its high acidity and light body.

It’s a dry wine, mineral with typical aromas of lemon zest, and apple. 

Pinot Grigio Fruity & Dry style usually undergoes malolactic fermentation and as such displays medium acidity, medium-light body, and a creamy texture on the palate.

It’s still a dry wine, with typical aromas of apple, lemon, white peach, and pear. 

Pinot Gris style has a medium gold color and usually a medium to full body with medium-low acidity.

Expect a wine less dry than the other two. It can go up to sweet for Vendage Tardives and Selection de Grains Nobles.

Typical aromas are sweet lemon candy, honey, ginger, and spice. 

Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris: Are they sweet or dry?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Grigio in terms of sweetness level or residual sugar.

You’ll both wines produced at various sweetness levels, that goes from dry to sweet.

  • A dry wine contains less than 15 g/L.
  • An off dry wine contains between 15-30 g/L.
  • A sweet wine contains between 50-100 g/L.

Learn more about wine sweetness level here.

Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris: Which are the recommended food pairings?

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

Pinot Grigio Minerally and Dry style pairs very well with salty foods like french fries and salty olives.

Go for white meat and shellfish and soft cheese or light cream cheese like Brie. 

Pinot Grigio Fruity & Dry style food Pairings will not vary much from the previous style.

You can though pair it with slightly more bold flavor foods like grilled fish, semi-soft and firm cheese like Beaufort, for example, thanks to its medium body 

Pinot Gris style will pair well with foie gras, cream sources, grilled vegetables, white and pork meat.

Meaty fish and bold cheese like blue mold, like Gorgonzola, and hard cheese, like Pecorino for example. 

Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris: How should you serve and store them?

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

Pinot Grigio Minerally & Dry and Pinot Grigio Fruity & Dry styles are meant to be consumed relatively soon, so don’t store them for more than 2 to 3 years.

Serve them at 45° – 50° F (7° – 10° C) in a Chardonnay or Viognier glass [1] to enjoy them at their best.

Pinot Gris style can age up to 5 years. Serving temperature varies between the off-dry and sweet styles:

  • Off-Dry: serve at 45° – 50° F (7° – 10° C) in a Chardonnay or Viognier glass.
  • Sweet: serve at 43° – 46° F (6° – 8° C) in a Fortified glass.

Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris: How much do they cost?

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

Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are affordable wines. 

The price generally ranges from $10 – $30. Where $10 is usually the IGT Italian style and $30 the Alsatian style.

Our Verdict

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

You should have as well a good idea of what to expect from the three main Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris styles.  

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

For Minerally and Dry Pinot Grigio go for Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Valdadige.

For Fruity and Dry Pinot Grigio go for Jermann Pinot Grigio 2020.

For Fruity and Sweet Pinot Gris go for Hugel Classic Pinot Gris 2018.

As always make sure to serve it at the right temperature, as seen above, so that you can enjoy it at its best.

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