How Dry is Pinot Grigio?

Dry Wine vs. Sweet Wine

You’re asking all the good questions, my friend! let’s first determine the difference between dry and sweet wines. during the fermentation process, the natural sugars in grape juice (yes, it literally starts out as grape juice) work their magic and turn into carbon dioxide & alcohol to give (drum roll, please) wine. there are two types of natural sugars in wine: fructose & glucose. fructose, being sweeter than glucose, typically takes a longer time to ferment, and so sometimes leaves what they call residual sugar in the wine. the residual sugar is what makes the wine sweet like riesling. the more, the sweeter. logically, then, drier wines have less residual sugar. simple as that!

Dry vs. Sweet: Pinot Grigio 

So where does pinot grigio fall on the spectrum of dry white wine to sweetness? Gris is typically super dry compared to other white wine varieties like sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. why? it has mostly to do with its high acidity and tannins. back it up. what are tannins? you might know of tannins as the things in many red wines that make your jaw feel a little… sour… for the lack of a better word. tannins are actually found in the skins, stems, and seeds of grapes (and other plants, too). they essentially create a drying sensation in our mouths by binding to proteins in our saliva. but let’s not get too technical. all you need to know is that the more tannins there are in a wine, the drier the wine will seem. pinot grigio is a fairly tannic white wine. acidity, on the other hand, is caused by the age of the grapes when they’re fermented. the longer the grapes age, the less acidic they are. this makes sense if you think about the difference in taste between an unripe, a just ripe, and a very ripe grape. The more acidic wine is, the drier it tastes.

What Type of Wine is Pinot Grigio?

Pinot Grigio vs. Pinot Gris 

Did you know Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are interchangeable? There are two different styles in Italy and France. It’s important to note that Pinot Gris refers to the fruity French style while Pinot Grigio suggests the “drier” Italian style.  It’s often light, crisp, and dry with plenty of that zippy, mouth-watering acidity. That perfect goes with everything wine! Grapes used to make Pinot Grigio are a mutation of the Pinot Noir grape. The French style Pinot Gris has tasting notes of peaches, green apples, and citrus peel. While the Italian style Pinot Grigio is more mineral tasting with notes of saline and citrus. 

Is It Dry?

Are They The Same? 

You’ve probably guessed this by now but Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are the same things! Pinot Grigio is often less sweet because of the high acidity. This often depends on the amount of residual sugar and technically wines with less than 10 grams per liter are considered “dry.” Pinot Grigio is made in a dry style but often it’s left up to the interpretation of the drinker. 

What Foods Does it Pair Well With?

Goes Well With Anything… 

Regardless if you're enjoying a glass of wine in California, New Zealand, or Australia, it's no secret that pinot grigio is an amazing dry white food pairing wine. It’s crisp and refreshing so it’s perfect for hot days, beachside hangs, and picnics. This wine pairs especially well with sushi, seafood, chicken dishes, and of course ceviche! This wine is so fabulous it has the ability to pair nicely with rich sauces and spicy foods too. Avoid pairing Pinot Grigio with high acid foods -- basically anything with fruit or tomatoes won’t pair that well!

Is Pinot Grigio The Same as Pinot Gris?

Sisters, not Twins

Well, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are the same right? They may be called different things but Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are from the same family. The “pinot” family is very close to the Pinot Noir family. So I guess you could say if you like Pinot… you’ll love this. The Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are mutations of the Pinot Noir grape. Basically Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio is halfway between Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc. There is a lot of variety that comes out of the Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio and that’s because this grape reacts to the terror otherwise known as the climates and hillsides it’s grown on. Variations in this wine are dependent on the temperature or aging style and so in a sense, Pinot Grigio/Gris is truly up to the winemaker’s style.