This is our comparison of Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio wine. We’ve extensively researched these two popular wines to help you pick the best for you.
Pinot Noir, when young, is a fruity and refreshing wine. The finest bottles evolve in flavors and complexity thanks to the long maturation.
Pinot Grigio, in its dry version, is light, refreshing, and crisp. Lemon and apples are typical aromas.
Its French version, Pinot Gris, has more complexity, a different structure, and pairs well with bolder flavors dishes.
Find below our wine guide on the most important differences between these two great wines.
Our recommendation for Best Value Pinot Noir is Belle Glos Dairyman Vineyard Pinot Noir and for Best Overall is Domaine Daniel Rion & Fils Échezeaux Grand Cru 2017.
Our recommendation for Best Value Pinot Grigio is Italo Cescon Pinot Grigio and for Best Overall is Vie di Romans – Dessimis Pinot Grigio 2019.
You’ll find below our recommendation for you.
Let’s begin with the review!
Wine Selection Overview
Find below our Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio wine selection for you where you’ll find our recommendation for you.
Pinot Noir Selection
Deep garnet color. Luxurious and dynamic aromas of ripe strawberry, bright cherry and faint notes of spicy oak and vanilla.
The complexity of the palate smoothly layers rich red currant notes and baking spice flavors with light smoke, earth and leather.
A balanced, velvety texture and supple tannins carry the wine through to a lingering, succulent finish.
Belle Glos Dairyman Vineyard Pinot Noir
Bright crimson red in color. Aromas of black cherry and ripe plums combine with subtle notes of dried herbs and smoke.
The palate entry shows flavors of cranberry, fresh raspberry, and ripe cherry, complemented by hints of vanilla and baking spice.
A balance of savory, cedar and cocoa powder, and sweet, fig jam and ripe blackberry, round out the mouth-feel.
Échezeaux Grand Cru 2017
Tenderness and magnitude. They are often open, expressive , precocious.
They show great flexibility , supported by continued seeming velvet mouth.
Raspberry flavors, rosehip characterize in his youth.
Pinot Grigio Selection
Cielo e Terra
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!
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
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.
Let’s now take a closer look at the difference between Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio so that you’ll have enough details to make an informed decision.
Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio: Where are they produced?
Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio from regions and wine styles points of view.
Pinot Noir gives its best in a cool to moderate climate. The grape has thin skin and it’s quite delicate.
When grown in a warm climate it can lose its freshness and taste too cooked from excessive ripening of the grapes. Despite that, it’s cultivated around the world.
Here is a quick overview:
In cool climates, like Burgundy in France, expect red fruit and subtle oak aromas, mushroom and forest floor.
In warm climates, like California, expect ripe red fruit and intense vanilla flavors. The finest examples develop mushroom and forest floor flavors.
Find more about Pinot Noir here.
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.
Read this article do find more about Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio: Which grapes are used to produce them?
Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio from a grape point of view.
Pinot Noir is produced from Pinot Noir grapes.
Pinot Grigio is made with Pinot Grigio grapes.
Pinot Noir is a red-wine grape variety whereas Pinot Grigio is a white-grape variety. They both belong to the Vitis vinifera species.
Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio: What's their alcohol content?
Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio 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.
Pinot Grigio’s ABV is usually between 10% to 14%, whereas Pinot Noir’s ABV ranges between 11.5% to 15% depending on the style.
Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio: What's their taste profile?
Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio from a taste profile point of view.
Pinot Noir is a dry to off-dry wine, with a pale to medium garnet color.
Pinot Noir has typical earthy and red fruit aromas like red berry, raspberry, cherry, and strawberry. Expect tertiary flavors of leather, spice, truffle, and tobacco.
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.
Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio: Are they sweet or dry?
Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio in terms of sweetness level or residual sugar.
The sweetness level of a wine is expressed in grams of sugar per liter, aka g/L, or as a percentage.
10 g/L equals 1% which, if you are interested, represents 6 calories per 5 oz serving.
You will usually find Pinot Noir in dry or off-dry sweetness levels.
On the other side you can find Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris in 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 Noir vs Pinot Grigio: Which are the recommended food pairings?
Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio from a food pairings point of view.
Pinot Noir pairs easily with many foods thanks to its versatility. Ratatouille, beans dishes, pasta, and pizza with mushrooms are generally a very good fit.
Pinot Noir is also one of those few red wines that can pair well as well with grilled fish like grilled salmon and swordfish.
Meat wise you have an ample selection of dishes too from roast veal, braised pork, venison, duck, or a juicy burger.
If you are into cheese, a very good choice is Taleggio, Comte, Cheddar, or Pecorino.
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.
Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio: How should you serve and store them?
Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio in terms of serving and storing the wine.
Pinot Noir should be decanted for 30 minutes and served at 55 – 64 °F (13 – 18 °C) in a Burgundy glass.
The recommended storing period is 5 years for normal bottles and 10+ years for the finest bottles.
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.
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.
Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio: How much do they cost?
Here you’ll find a brief overview of Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio from a price comparison point of view.
Pinot Noir is hardly inexpensive, whereas Pinot Grigio is an affordable wine.
You don’t need to worry though as there are plenty of great bottles out there that can be bought at a fraction.
You just need to know where to look, and we are here to point you in the right direction.
Pinot Noir from California, Oregon, France, and Australia represent a good entry-level that you can usually find below $40.
If you are after great bottles but would like to remain within $100, then look for bottles from California, Oregon, Italy, and France.
Outstanding bottles over $100+ are usually from France, like the Côte-d’Or, where prices can easily reach over $3,000.
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.
If you have been through the guide, by now you are a Pinot Noir vs Pinot Grigio expert!
Both Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio are great wines and by now you should 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 Noir is generally a common choice for the holiday season, given its food pairing options like duck, turkey, and roasted chicken.
Belle Glos Dairyman Pinot Noir is a great bottle at an incredible price.
Having said that, do you want to celebrate a special occasion or want to treat yourself with something truly special?
Then Domaine Daniel Rion & Fils Échezeaux Grand Cru 2017 Pinot Noir is the perfect choice.
You cannot resist the crispiness and freshness of a Pinot Grigio, can you?
Our recommendation for Best Value Pinot Grigio is Italo Cescon Pinot Grigio.
If you are after something special, our recommendation for Best Overall bottle is Vie di Romans – Dessimis Pinot Grigio 2019.
As always make sure to serve them at the right temperature to enjoy them at their best.
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