Pinot gris/Pinot Grigio

French, Italian and delicious all over

Pinot Grigio or Gris (both mean "gray," to distinguish the grape from it's darker, noir cousin) is most often a zesty, refreshing, citrusy white, with green notes of apple and lime dominant, and a pale lemon color. You'll also find floral, mineral, and sometimes even saline notes in the wine. Most pinot gris/grigios are quite dry, with a high level of acid. (Although there are exceptions. More on that in a minute.)

Pinot Grigio grapes are grown and harvested in the northeast regions of Italy, producing the most popular wine in that country. Grigio grapes are harvested fresh and young (like fabulous Italian men) and yield a mostly dry, fruity white with hints of lemon and minerals.

The white wines known as Pinot Gris (same grape, different translation) come from either Alsace, France or vineyards in California and Oregon. The gris wines from France and America are crisp but fuller bodied than their Italian cousins, abounding in citrus with complex flavors. They are more viscous (textured) and may have a kick of spice, pepper or arugula. Italian grigios, by contrast, start with a more neutral taste and the body and fruitiness increases with the price.

These are all easy drinking wines, "all good" (as folks as fresh and young as the grapes would say). Since they're generally best served chilled they perfect Florida beverages, from backyard barbecues to fancy fundraisers under the stars. Light and sweet, pinot grigio/gris paired with salmon or chicken just make you happy to be alive.

To sum it all all up:

  • Italian Pinot Grigio is usually totally dry with brilliant acidity with a slight almond note
  • French Pinot Gris is fleshy and more viscous with faint honey notes and a full body.
  • American Pinot Grigio Often with more exaggerated fruit flavors and with less acidity than European counterparts.

Now you know, go drink your grigio.

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