Pinot Grigio is a sparkling white wine that is made from a grape that hails from France. The wine is called Pinot Grigio as a result of the grey color of the berries (Grigio means grey in French).
The Pinot Grigio holds a degree of resemblance to the famous Pinot Noir – well this makes a lot of sense as the grey grape of Pinot Grigio is a color mutation of the red grape of Pinot Noir. This article is an encompassing look into the world of Pinot Grigio, giving as much information as possible such as the history of the wine, wine characteristics and style differences of the wine.
When you ask people about Pinot Grigio, some do not really know what you are talking about. You get questions like “what is that?” This is because the wine is known to many as Pinot Gris. So yes, Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio is the same wine. The white wine is also known by another name, Grauburgunder. So when you are at restaurant or you are in a party and what they have is Pinot Gris, go ahead and ask for it, it is your same refreshing white wine you love.
History and Origin
Contrary to popular belief that Italy is the home of Pinot Grigio, France is the home of this classy white wine. In its native region, it is there it is popularly known as Pinot Gris. ‘Pinot’ is because the grape grows in small pine cone-shaped clusters while ‘Grigio’ as earlier stated is because of the grey color of the grapes.
Though it may not originate from Italy, Pinot Grigio as found a home in the heart of the Italians. Italy ranks as the largest producer of the Pinot Grigio grapes in the whole world with about 25000 ha of grape vineyards located in Italy (the entire global totals at 60,000 ha). The Northeast region of Italy is where Pinot Grigio has really entrenched into their culture with about 95% of the countty’s total in that region alone.
Generally, Pinot Grigio wines vary in taste. Some when poured into the glass and sipped, taste dry while other taste fruitier. The wine tend to leave a citrus and acidic finish after being sipped meaning you will do well to pair this white wine with food. Pinot Grigio wines come with other flavors such as mineral and melon.
Just like the taste, Pinot Grigio wines vary in color. They come in several colors such as faded gold to straw color. Other variety of the drink even come with a pink tint about them (very attractive when in a glass). Other colors of Pinot Grigio include shades of copper.
The wine comes in different flavors depending in the region in which the wine is grown. The common flavors of Pinot Grigio are lime, pear, and apple, hint of honey, pear and lemon. The flavors with hint of honey include faint honey hints and honeysuckle aromas.
The sparkling wine is usually completely dry leaving a bitter almond note on the tongue when sipped.
Pinot Grigio, just like any other sparkling wine with high acidity level is better taken and paired with food. Now, it is important to choose the correct pair as a wrong pair would leave you hating both the wine and your food. The wine can be perfectly matched with several food choices such as fresh vegetables, light meals, fish and shellfish. Other food pairing that work perfectly with Pinot Grigio are spices such as thyme, fennel, saffron, ginger, white pepper and cheese such as Grana Padano.
The most popular vegetable pairing of the wine include salads, cucumber and spiced greens. Pinot Grigio goes well with fruit pairings such as green apple, onion, and broccoli.
The Pinot Grigio grape is easily grown in several wine producing countries of the world. The grape is grown in Argentina, Australia, Canada, France (of course), Italy (definitely), Turkey, Slovenia, Switzerland, United States and even South Africa. Each of these regions have its own characteristics taste which makes it unique to the other.
The Alsace Pinot Grigio wines are some of the best, with many touting them as the best Pinot Grigio in the world. The Pinot Grigio wines of Alsace were formerly known as Tokay d’ Alsace but were changed due to an agreement between the EU and Hungary. The Alsace wines now go with the common name they are known as globally, Pinot Gris, which is seen on the label of Pinot Grigio bottles.
The wine making style of Pinot Grigio varies greatly in several countries. Coupled with the uniqueness of each region, the result is great variance in the taste of Pinot Grigio wines. For example, German Pinot Grigio are more full bodies with attention paid to a balance of acidity and sweetness. Their Oregon counterpart are medium bodied with several colors (some yellow, some pink) and different aromas (some apple, some pear).
The Alsatian Pinot Grigio (from Alscae) range from full bodied to medium bodied and they tend to age well with some reaching 5 to 7 years.
Pinot Grigo, or Pinot Gris is an exciting dry white wine that gets better with each sip. The wine may not be as popular as other Pinot choices such as Pinot Noir and Pinot Bianca, but this is one of the most exquisite white wine. It sparkles, it leaves a much desired taste when sipped and easy to drink. Pinot Grigio is one of the most popular wine in America – in fact, it is the most imported wine to the United States. The wine is crowd-pleasing and this is as a result of several color, taste and flavors of Pinot Grigio that exists – basically, there is a Pinot Grigio for everyone. The Alsace Pinot Grigio is easily the best Pinot Grigio with its range of choices from medium bodied to full bodied. California and Oregon are the two biggest producers in America.
Crisp, refreshing, clear, fine, and vintage – Pinot Grigio is best served for warm weather.
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