Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay

pinot grigio vs chardonnay

There are a lot of different types of white wine out there, and it can be hard to know which one is the best for you. In this post, we will compare Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay: 

What are the differences in taste? Where do they come from? Which one is better? Stay tuned to find out!

pinot grigio vs chardonnay comparison

Table of Contents

Pinot Grigio

Italy’s most popular white wine is, without a doubt, Pinot Grigio. Although known to be Italian, the grapes were originally from France, called Pinot Gris. The wine gets its name from the French word “gris,” which means gray describes the color of the grape skins. “Grigio” also means gray in Italian. 

Pinot Grigio is a middle mutation of Pinot Noir grape and Pinot Blanc grape. 

Fun Fact: Pinot Grigio is made from a RED grape, not a white grape. They are known for their blue-grayish grapes.

french pinot gris vs pinot grigio

How Does Pinot Grigio Taste?

pinot gris vs pinot grigio

Pinot Grigio is a versatile wine that is similar to Sauvignon Blanc. Like Sauvignon Blanc, it can range from light and refreshing to rich and medium-bodied. The taste of pinot grigio depends on several factors, including the grape variety, the terroir, and the winemaking style.

Pinot Grigio grapes grown in cooler climates tend to produce wines with higher acidity and lower alcohol levels. The cool weather helps to preserve the grape’s acidity, which gives the wine its refreshing flavor. These wines are often fruity and floral, with notes of lemon, green apple, and honeysuckle.

In contrast, Pinot Grigio grapes grown in warmer climates create riper fruit that produce wines that are more fruit forward, richer, and fuller bodied. These wines often have hints of stone fruit, such as apricot and peach, as well as tropical fruit flavors.

No matter what the taste, Pinot Grigio is always a refreshing wine that is perfect for any occasion.

Where Is Pinot Grigio Produced?

In the Old World, Pinot Grigio are grown in cool climates, such as the regions of France, Italy, and Germany.

Fun Fact: Winemakers in the France for hundreds of years have been attempting to make a Hungarian sweet white wine, and Pinot Gris was the lucky fluke. That's why Pinot Gris from France may be a tiny bit sweeter.

And in the New World, Pinot Grigio vines can be found in New Zealand and Australia, where they produce wines with riper fruit flavors.

In California and Oregon, Pinot Grigio is often used in sparkling wine production, as well as in making dry, still Pinot Grigio wines.

The grape’s propensity for producing high acidity levels makes it a versatile grape that can be used in a wide range of styles. 

Each of these regions imparts its own unique flavor profile to the wine, making Pinot Grigio an extremely versatile grape varietal.

Best Food Pairings with Pinot Grigio

One of my favorite food pairings is Pinot Grigio wine with roasted chicken. The acidity in the wine helps to cut through the rich flavor of the chicken, and the light body of the wine is a perfect foil for the hearty dish.

Another great pairing is Pinot Grigio with sushi. The delicate flavors of the sushi are enhanced by the wine, and the acidity helps to balance out the richness of the fish. The light, refreshing flavor pairs well with lighter fare such as salads and seafood.

If you’re looking for a truly unique pairing, try Pinot Grigio with a chocolate dessert. The acidity in the wine brings out the sweetness of the chocolate, and the light body of the wine prevents the dessert from being too heavy.

And if you need more pairings/ideas, check out our article about Pinot Grigio Food Pairings!

Chardonnay

best chardonnay

Chardonnay is the most popular white wine in the world. Most people either love or hate it.

Chardonnay is a white wine grape that originates from the Burgundy region of France. The grape is believed to have been named after a village in the Burgundy region called Chardonnay. 

Today, Chardonnay is grown in nearly every wine-producing region in the world. The grape is known for its versatility and can be used to produce both light and full-bodied wines.

How Does Chardonnay Taste?

Chardonnay is one of the most popular white wines, known for its versatility and pleasing taste. It is made from Chardonnay grapes, which is relatively easy to grow and produces a high yield. 

As a result, Chardonnay wine is widely available and tends to be very affordable. The taste of Chardonnay can vary depending on the region where it is grown and the winemaking process. 

New World

malolactic fermentation

When wine undergoes malolactic fermentation, it will have a creamier texture and a slightly buttery taste. During this process, lactic acid bacteria convert the wine’s tart natural acids into softer, buttery lactic acid.

Many New World wineries will use this process also causes the wine to develop more complex flavor notes, such as oak or vanilla. And as a result, malolactic fermentation generally used can have a significant impact on the taste of Chardonnay.

Old World

Old world Chardonnays tend to be more acidic, giving them a crispness that can be refreshing. They also tend to have more complex flavor profiles, with hints of oak and butter. 

Oak Aging

oaked chardonnay vs unoaked chardonnay is chardonnay sweet

Vanilla and spice.

The taste of Chardonnay aged in oak can vary depending on the type of oak and the length of time the wine was aged. American oak tends to impart a richer, creamier flavor, while French oak often gives the wine a more subtle oak flavor.

The longer the wine is aged, the more pronounced the oak flavor will be. Oaked Chardonnay wines that has been aged for a shorter period of time may have hints of vanilla or butter, while wine that has been aged for a longer period of time may have flavors of toast or spice.

Fun Fact: If you like a less creamier wine, look for Chardonnays' that did not undergo MF (malolactic fermentation) or oak aging. And maybe look for a Old World Chardonnay.

Where is Chardonnay Produced?

Chardonnay is a versatile and popular wine grape that is grown in many regions around the world. In France, it’s the most widely planted white wine grape (most notably in Burgundy), and it is also a key component of Champagne and other sparkling wines. 

Chardonnay grape is also extensively planted in California, Australia, Italy, and South Africa. The climate and soil of each region imparts unique characteristics to the wine, resulting in a wide range of flavors and styles. 

Best Food Pairings with Chardonnay

A glass of chilled chardonnay is the perfect accompaniment to a variety of foods, from roasted chicken to creamy pasta dishes.

The key to finding the best food pairing for chardonnay is to balance the wine’s acidity with the richness of the food. For example, rich, buttery chardonnays pair well with roasted meats and hearty stews, while lighter, more refreshing chardonnays are a perfect match for grilled fish or citrusy salads. 

Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay FAQs

Is Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio more dry?

Both are generally dry wines. But the answer to this question also depends on the style of Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio you are drinking. 

In general, Chardonnay is a more full-bodied wine, while typical Italian Pinot Grigio is lighter, crisper, and drier. However, there are many styles of both wines, from light and refreshing to rich and creamy.

Is Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay better?

Pinot Grigio vs Chardonnay is a difficult question to answer. Both wines have their own unique flavor profiles that make them enjoyable to drink. Ultimately, the best wine is the one that you enjoy drinking. 

If you like light and refreshing wines, then Pinot Grigio may be a better choice. 

If you prefer richer, more complex flavors, then Chardonnay may be a better option. Ultimately, the best way to find out is to try both wines and see which one you prefer.

What is healthier Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Both wines have similar calorie and carb counts. However, Pinot Grigio tends to have a lower alcohol and sugar content than Chardonnay, which may make it a better choice for people who are watching their alcohol intake.

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