Even if you’re not exactly a wine expert, odds are that you’ve heard of pinot grigio before. Perhaps your friend has ordered it for the table at dinner. Or you’ve had it at a wedding. In any case, pinot grigio is wildly popular all over the world and has claimed the title of the number one imported white wine in the United States. This fact should tell you everything you need to know about pinot grigio, but if you still aren’t convinced, here are some other things that you should know in order to properly enjoy a nice glass of this delicious white wine:
What Is Pinot Grigio?
Pinot grigio is a fruity and refreshing white wine that is a big crowd-pleaser in every setting. It is also known as pinot gris. “Pinot” refers to a type of grape and “grigio” is Italian for gray. On the other hand, “gris” is French for gray. So why does pinot grigio use two different names? Well, it has to do with where it comes from…
Where Does Pinot Grigio Come From?
Unsurprisingly, pinot grigio grapes can be traced back to France, hence the French name “pinot gris.” The gray in both names refers to the color of the grape’s skin that is grayish-blue rather than the typical light green color. It is believed that this particular type of grape was actually a mutation of the pinot noir red grapes. Hundreds of years ago, the pinot grigio grape made quite an immigration from Burgundy in eastern France to Switzerland, and then to northern Italy in the regions of Lombardy and Veneto. Although pinot grigio grapes were popular before making it to Italy, even loved by the Emperor of Switzerland, they experienced massive success in this new region that is already known for its grapes and wines. In fact, these days pinot grigio is the most popular white wine in all of Italy – talk about a success story!
What Does Pinot Grigio Taste Like?
Pinot grigio has a rich history, but does it have a rich taste? Pinot grigio is a dry wine that has high acidity. At the same time, pinot grigio from Italy will taste different from pinot grigio from California and pinot gris from France. The quality of the wine will also affect the taste – so make sure that you get a high-quality wine that isn’t overly sweetened. In fact, lots of people just assume that they don’t like pinot grigio because they had one bad glass of it. However, it’s definitely worth another try because you may have just tried a cheap bottle that wasn’t made very well.
Some common fruit flavors that you can expect to taste in pinot grigio include lime, pear, white nectarine, apple, lemon, and white peach. Some of the aromas that you can expect from pinot grigio include almond (especially in the Italian versions), honeysuckle, clove, ginger, spice, and honey (especially in the French version). Obviously, this all sounds delicious and makes you want to enjoy a glass right away! But what food items pair well with pinot grigio?
What to Pair With Pinot Grigio?
Overall, pinot grigio pairs well with light and fresh food items. While you should always go with your personal preferences when it comes to food, here are some general guidelines that you should follow when trying to create a meal that can be eaten with a lovely glass of pinot grigio:
- Fish: Fish is probably one of the best things to eat with pinot grigio. Also, don’t be afraid to do raw fish – the fresher the better! Tilapia, sea bass, haddock, trout, cod, snapper, redfish, and halibut all pair well with pinot grigio in addition to scallops, mussels, clams, and oysters.
- Meats: White meats like chicken and turkey along with cured meats like pork and duck.
- Spices and herbs: Ginger, cinnamon, clove, allspice, turmeric, saffron, coriander, thyme, parsley, mint, chives, and fennel.
- Cheeses: Gruyere, Muenster, and Grana Padano.
- Vegetables: Cucumber, celery, onion, cauliflower, broccoli, yellow squash.
How to Serve Pinot Grigio?
Serving is the last step, and pinot grigio is best-served ice cold at around 45° F. However, it’s important to remember that your refrigerator is probably colder than this so you only need to chill it for about an hour before serving. If you are worried about bottle maintenance or storage, you might want to consider a pinot grigio canned drink that’s low-maintenance and environment-friendly.
Overall, pinot grigio is a crowd-pleasing wine that everyone will enjoy – if you choose the right one. Wine isn’t an area to skimp out on, so make sure that any wine that you purchase is good quality! Also make sure to pair it with the right foods to really enhance the experience and impress all of your dinner guests.