Sauvignon Blanc vs. Pinot Grigio: The Similarities and Differences

sauvignon blanc vs pinot grigio (1)

When it comes to white wines, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are two of the most popular options. They both have a light, refreshing flavor that makes them perfect for summertime sipping.

But what are the similarities and differences between these two wines?

In this blog post, we will explore the similarities and differences between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, so that you can make an informed decision about which wine is right for you!

Table of Contents

What is Sauvignon Blanc?

Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine grape variety (parent grape of Cabernet Sauvignon) that originates from the Bordeaux region of France. The grape is widely planted in New Zealand, where it produces wines with intense fruit flavors and bright acidity. And Sauvignon Blanc also grows well in cooler climates, such as the Loire Valley and Chile.

The flavor profile of Sauvignon Blanc can vary depending on where it is grown and how it is produced. The grape is often used to make dry, crisp white wines that are ideal for drinking young. However, Sauvignon Blanc can also produce rich, complex wines with aging potential.

In general, the flavor profile of Sauvignon Blanc wines includes citrus fruits, green apples, tropical fruits, and gooseberry. The aromas of Sauvignon Blanc can be quite pungent, with strong notes of grass and herbs.

Sauvignon Taste Profile

It’s a dry white wine made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes originated in the Loire Valley of France. And it’s known for its minerality, with flavors of lemon and lime zest, wet stone, and flint. There is also a characteristic herbaceous quality to the wine, with notes of green bell pepper, grass, and gooseberry. The acidity is high, giving the wine a crisp, refreshing finish.

sancerre wine tasting notes stone fruit

Grapefruit and freshly cut grass. That’s all that needs to be said for this wonderful tasting Sauvignon Blanc.

New Zealand best Sauvignon blancs taste profile


Most California Sauvignon Blancs are dry wines. These wines are typically quite fruity, with notes of citrus, melon, and green apple being most prevalent. Some bottles may also have subtle grassy or herbal flavors, which can add an interesting dimension to the wine.

California both sauvignon blanc

Popular Sauvignon Blanc Wine Regions

  • California (Napa, Sonoma)
  • New Zealand (Marlborough)
  • Sancerre (Loire Valley)
  • Bordeaux
  • Washington
  • South Africa
  • Italy

What is Pinot Grigio?

It’s a type of white wine made from the Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris) grape. And the grape is a grayish-blue color, which is where the wine gets its name (Grigio means gray in Italian). Pinot Gris originated in France but is now mostly associated with Italy.

In fact, most of the Pinot Grigio wines you find on store shelves today are Italian. Pinot Grigio is a light-bodied wine with a slightly sweet taste. 

Pinot Grigio Taste Profile

both pinot grigio taste profile

Primary fruit flavors include lime, lemon, pear, apple, and white nectarine. And this gives the wine the refreshing citrus (often fruity) flavor with biting acidity. But depending on where the grapes are from, they can have nuances in flavor that make them slightly different.

Popular Pinot Grigio Wine Regions

  • Italy
  • California
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • France

Differences Between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio

Sauvignon Blanc is known for its aromatic, citrusy flavors. It’s also often described as being crisp and refreshing. 

While Pinot grigio, on the other hand, tends to be a bit lighter in flavor. It is often described as having floral or fruity notes. In terms of texture, Pinot Grigio is usually a bit smoother than Sauvignon Blanc.

However, depending on where the grape was grown you can also find smoother and sweeter Sauvignon Blancs and more acidic Pinot Grigios.

Sauvignon Blanc vs Pinot Grigio

sauvignon blanc vs pinot grigio


What is Drier Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc?

Difficult to answer, but generally Sauvignon Blanc is drier than Pinot Grigio.

However you can find an Italian Pinot Grigio that is drier than a California Sauvignon Blanc that is drier than a Alsace Pinot Gris.

Which is Sweeter Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay?

All three wines are dry white wines. But you may find Chardonnay to have a little more sugar content than the other two. Also, Chardonnay may taste “sweet” because of the ripe fruit or other factors that are coming out of that particular Chardonnay.  

Is a Sauvignon Blanc sweet or dry?

Sauvignon Blanc is usually a dry wine. There are a few Sauvignon Blancs that are made as a sweet wine. Actually one of the best dessert wines in the world, Sauternes, is produced from this grape grown in Bordeaux. 

Does Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc have less sugar?

calories in a bottle of white wine white wines

Again both are not sweet wines. And both average lower residual sugar than most dry wines. The typically both have sugar content less than 1 gram. So it depends on the bottle that you are drinking but some Pinot Grigio have a tiny bit less and a tiny bit more sugar than Sauvignon Blanc. 

Which is Better Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc?

So, when it comes to choosing between these two types of white wine, it really all comes down to personal preference. 

If you’re looking for a refreshing, tropical-tasting dry wine, then Sauvignon Blanc is probably a good choice. 

If you prefer a lighter, smoother, less acidic dry wine, then Pinot Grigio might be a better option.

 But again, for either varietal, look where the wine is from and it could tell you a little more about what you will be tasting.

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