Pinot Grigio Food Pairings Guide

pinot grigio food pairings

Quick Answer: Seafood, vegetables, and Italian seafood pastas. This refreshing acidity of this wine along with the delicate floral and citrus notes that make it a perfect match for seafood. Whether you're serving grilled fish, spaghetti alle vongole, fried calamari, or sushi, it will elevate your meal.

I’m a Pinot Grigio fan! I love this crisp and refreshing wine. And Pinot Grigio also pairs well with a variety of foods, making it the perfect drink for any occasion.

In this guide, we will discuss what Pinot Grigio is, the best foods to pair with it, and why those Pinot Grigio pairings work well.

Table of Contents

What is Pinot Grigio?

Most would consider Pinot Grigio an Italian white wine, and partly, that’s a fact. It’s arguably one of the most famous Italian wine styles. But although the wine style is all Italian, the grapes were born in Burgundy, France.

Therefore, Italians would call it Pinot Grigio, but the French call it Pinot Gris. (And if it’s from Alsace, it will typically be a slightly sweet Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris).)

And Pinot Grigio is made from the Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio grape, which gets its name from the French word for “gray.” This refers to the grayish-blue color of the grapes when they are ripe.

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What Does Pinot Grigio Taste Like?

pinot grigio taste profile pinot gris pinot grigio pinot grigio

Pinot Grigio has primary fruit flavors of lime, lemon, pear, apple, and white nectarine. And the wine is light-bodied and gives that refreshing citrus (often fruity) flavor with biting acidity. Lastly, Pinot Grigio ranges in color from pale straw to light gold.

Best Pinot Grigio Food Pairings

1) Seafood

best pinot grigio food pairing pinot grigio food pairing

Pinot Grigio is a light-bodied wine with a refreshing acidity that complements the delicate flavors of seafood without overpowering them. Plus the acidity in the wine will bring out the freshness of the seafood.

Also, Pinot Grigio has delicate floral and citrus notes that can pair well with a variety of seafood dishes, from simple grilled fish or light seafood salads to more complex seafood pasta dishes.

Lastly, the acidity in Pinot Grigio can act as a palate cleanser, which can help to refresh your taste buds and prepare them for the next bite of food. This can be particularly beneficial when eating rich or oily seafood dishes.

2) Vegetables

Again, Pinot Grigio is a light-bodied wine with a refreshing acidity that also complements the fresh, crisp flavors of vegetables and salads.

Plus, Pinot Grigio is a versatile wine that can pair well with a variety of vegetables and salads, whether they are raw or cooked, simple or complex.

Finally, the herbal characteristics of some Pinot Grigio wines will complement the taste of the earthy vegetables.

3) Risotto

italian pinot grigio italian pinot grigio italian pinot grigio food pairing

My favorite Italian Pinot Grigio food pairing! Pinot Grigio’s high acidity helps to cut through the richness and creaminess of risotto, making it a perfect pairing.

Also the light-bodied Pinot Grigio does not overpower the flavors of risotto. Instead it complements the dish’s subtle and delicate flavors.

And yet again the versatility of Pinot Grigio pairs with various types of risotto dishes, including those that contain seafood, vegetables, or meat.

Furthermore, Pinot Grigio can act as a palate cleanser, helping to refresh the taste buds after each bite of risotto.

Finally, the fruity and floral notes of an Italian Pinot Grigio can complement the flavors of risotto, especially if the dish contains herbs like thyme, sage, or parsley.

4) Pasta Primavera

This is a light and refreshing pasta dish that is perfect for summer. And Pinot Grigio is a light bodied, refreshing white wine that is also perfect for the summer time!

More importantly, it’s a good wine pairing because the acidity in Pinot Grigio will brighten up the flavors of the vegetables in this pasta dish. 

And Pinot Grigio will pair well with a variety of vegetables or just a few that the pasta might contain. 

Lastly, the delicate floral notes of Pinot Grigio can complement the fresh vegetables and herbs in pasta primavera, creating a harmonious flavor pairing.

5) Spaghetti Carbonara or Pasta Alfredo

pinot grigio pinot grigio food pairing

Both are creamy pasta dishes that can be heavy. And generally you aren’t suppose to match this wine with heavy creamy dishes. However I found that the acidity in Pinot Grigio will lighten up the dish and cut through the creaminess of the sauce, which can be made with eggs, cheese, and bacon. And this balance of acidity and richness creates a harmonious pairing.

And like other creamy dishes, the acidity in Pinot Grigio can act as a palate cleanser, helping to refresh the taste buds between bites of the rich carbonara sauce.

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6) Linguine Allo Scoglio or Spaghetti Alle Vongole

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Both are seafood pasta dishes that make some of the best Pinot Grigio pairings.

Because the acidity will bring out the freshness of the seafood, while not overpowering the flavors of the seafood and sauce.

Also, the high acidity of Pinot Grigio will complement the citrusy and brininess of the seafood in these dishes. 

Finally, the citrus fruit notes of Pinot Grigio can complement the lemon or tomato-based sauces that are commonly used in these recipes, creating a harmonious pairing.

7) Lemon Chicken or Chicken with white wine sauce

Pinot Grigio is a great choice to pair with light chicken dishes. Because the acidity will help add to the flavors of the chicken and sauce.

Furthermore, the delicate citrus notes of Pinot Grigio can complement the citrusy and herbal flavors of Lemon Chicken or Chicken with white wine sauce, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the dish.

8) Sushi

sushi and pinot grigio pinot grigio pinot gris

Always a good choice, if you are not up for a Sake pairing that night. The light-bodied wine will not overpower the sushi, but instead enhance the flavors of the sushi.

Also, Pinot Grigio has a good level of acidity that can help cut through the rich and fatty flavors of the raw fish and other ingredients in sushi, creating a balanced flavor pairing.

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Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Gris

pinot gris vs pinot grigio

They are made from the same grape, but the wines taste different.

The main difference is in how they are made and the terroir they come from. Pinot Grigio is a light-bodied wine with high acidity and low alcohol content while Pinot Gris is a more medium to full-bodied wine with lower acidity and higher alcohol content. 

Learn more about the similarities and differences here…

Pinot Grigio vs Sauvignon Blanc

sauvignon blanc vs pinot grigio

The main difference between these two wines is in the flavor profile. Sauvignon Blanc has herbal, grassy flavors while Pinot Grigio has fruity flavors.

Learn more about the similarities and differences here…

Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay

pinot grigio vs chardonnay comparison

The main difference between these two wines is in the body, acidity, and alcohol levels. Pinot Grigio is a refreshing, light wine while Chardonnay is a richer, more full-bodied wine.

Learn more about the similarities and differences here…

What cheese does Pinot Grigio pair with?

Pinot Grigio works especially well with soft, mild cheeses like brie and mozzarella. The sweetness and mellowness of these cheeses bring out the best in the wine. Also I like Gruyere and mild goat cheese as good Pinot Grigio cheese pairings. 

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