What’s one of the best wines for spring and summer? Look no further than a tall glass of pinot grigio twinkling on your tabletop.
Pinot grigio is among the best-known white wines around the world. This smooth, sweet vintage hits a nice middle ground between the more tart sauvignon blanc and the sugary Riesling.
Whenever you need a tall glass of alcohol to accompany your spring or summer excursions, this varietal is one of the first to come to mind.
Are you searching for a bottle of Pinot Grigio to add to your wine rack? We’ve broken down Pinot Grigio price to narrow down your search.
The Origin of Pinot Grigio
Burgundy isn’t just known for Pinot Noir. This French region is also believed to have given birth to Pinot Grigio/Gris since the 12th century.
(Not sure what the difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris is? We’ll explore that further in the article.)
Many of the grape varieties you know and love today weren’t always reliable to grow. Through the consistent efforts of winemakers and historians, wine grapes have become better understood in terms of their growing conditions and harvesting techniques.
Pinot Grigio struggled to gain traction in the past due to its low yields but has since become a favored grape due to sturdier mutations.
Fun fact: Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir are very closely related. DNA studies have shown they hardly differ beyond color genetically, though their flavor notes remain fairly distinct.
Why is Pinot Grigio so Popular?
You don’t have to search far and wide to find this white wine varietal. You can thank the fine tastes of Italian winemakers for bringing this grape to the forefront.
Pinot Grigio is generally semi-sweet and dry, making it easy to drink for wine lovers who don’t care for bitter or tart vintages.
The dominant flavor notes of Pinot Grigio also line up closely with common Western diets, which we’ll take a look at below. All in all, this variety is very easy to fall in love with.
What’s the Difference Between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio?
We thought about leaving this question for the FAQ, but this inquiry is so common it deserves its own section. Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are the same grape but are grown in different regions.
Pinot Gris is grown in France, while Pinot Grigio is grown in Italy. The terroir of each country still adds a few subtleties. Pinot Gris tends to lean toward sweet and full-bodied, while Pinot Grigio is a little more on the acidic, bright side.
What are the Characteristics of Pinot Grigio?
Pinot Grigio is a very satisfying white wine grape variety for its well-rounded palate. You get a little bit of sweetness, a touch of tart, and plenty of flavors all at once.
This wine grape leans toward the drier side without being completely astringent. If you’re sensitive to bitter, smoky, or sour wines, you’ll fall in love with the balanced approach of Pinot Grigio.
As stated earlier, Pinot Grigio already feels quite familiar if you regularly eat apples, pears, or honey.
Expect to enjoy a variety of dominant flavors ranging from:
- White peach
- Green apple
Depending on the terroir, age, and cultivation of your bottle, you will also enjoy flavors such as:
What Does Pinot Grigio Pair With?
Pinot Grigio is a refreshing and lightweight wine, so consider saving it for brunch, lunch, or a snack. Due to its drier constitution and sweeter flavors, you’ll want fresh and simple foods.
A Fresh and Crunchy Salad
White wines go best with light meals. A fresh, crunchy salad with tossed greens and vegetables will push out the sweetness in your vintage. Consider adding chopped fruit, nuts, or shredded chicken on top.
Chicken-based Pasta Dishes
Speaking of chicken, chicken-based pasta dishes are one of the best-known pairings with Pinot Grigio. The salty, mild flavor of chicken makes the honeyed, tart flavor notes of the wine stand out.
A Classic Risotto
Do you like Risotto, but don’t feel like finishing up the rest of your Sauvignon Blanc? Swap in a Pinot Grigio to balance the rice’s tartness with semi-sweet, honeyed flavor notes.
How to Bring Out the Best in Your Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio tastes fantastic when chilled, so try not to finish your entire bottle in one sitting. The cold temperature brings out the juicy, fruity flavor notes and hearkens to ice-cold summer tea.
Decanting to Reduce Astringency
Fortunately, white wines don’t need to be decanted as long as red wines. A mere twenty to thirty minutes is more than enough to let your wine settle, breathe, and bring out its best character.
Chilled to Bring Out Flavor
If you can’t finish your white wine in one sitting, you’ll be happy to know this wine group is delectably chilled. Pinot Grigio’s pear and apple notes become even more pronounced in a colder temperature.
Food Pairings to Get the Most Out of Your Purchase
Food pairings are the gift that keeps on giving. Your Pinot Grigio will make your dishes taste more profound, while your dishes will exaggerate the wine’s dominant aroma and flavors.
The Pinot Grigio Price Guide
How much is Pinot Grigio? It all depends on what you’re looking for, though this variety tends to lean on the lower end of the spectrum.
Our wine price guide will get you a bottle that suits your palate and your wallet. We’ll sprinkle in some food pairings or fun occasions so you can get the most out of your purchase!
The $10 to $15 Pinot Grigio Price Range
Want a wine bottle (or three) to pop open on the fly? Keep your monthly food budget in line with this affordable price range.
Since white wines aren’t aged quite as long as the average red wine, the Pinot Grigio prices don’t fluctuate quite as much.
- Firefly Ridge Firefly Ridge’s Pinot Grigio is a fantastic introduction to this wine grape. You get all the classic flavors in this affordably priced bottle: crisp pear, lemon zest, and an apple kick. The buttery smooth mouthfeel is even more pronounced when chilled.
- Ava Grace Vineyards Pinot Grigio Do you crave flavors that are sweet without being sugary? Ava Grace Vineyards’ Pinot Grigio provides dulcet honeysuckle with a lime kick. This 2017 vintage even won a prestigious gold medal at Critic’s Challenge International.
- Barefoot Cellars Another solid starting point is the ever-popular Barefoot Cellars. Pinot Grigio is a layered grape with a few different common flavor notes, with this bottle leaning hard toward white peach. If you want to go even more casual, we highly recommend their canned Pinot Grigio Spritzer.
- Seastone Pinot Grigio Crisp and refreshing, Seastone Pinot Grigio is a low-cost white wine for a lazy summer day. Enjoy this bottle’s tart acidity and lean toward peach and pear flavor notes. Once you’re done with the first round, chill the last few inches for when the weather gets hot.
- Josh Cellars Pinot Grigio Mild wine doesn’t have to be bland wine. Josh Cellars provides a Pinot Grigio with gentle melon and pear flavors, providing a mellow vintage that pairs great with summer staples like corn on the cob or grilled vegetables.
The $20 to $30 Pinot Grigio Price Range
Let’s bump up the price a little while still staying in the lower range. These bottles make for a great reward for your hard work, whether you’re studying at school or just trying to get through the week.
- Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio 2020 Straight from the source, the Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio is a fine representation of Italian winemaking. This winery has been around since the 1950s, boasting the unique distinction of selling pink Pinot Grigio as a white wine variety. Juicy, tart apples, and a lean toward the dry side make this wine an ideal pairing with chicken or rice-based dishes.
- Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio Ramato Orange Wine Mary J Blige, 2019 Whether you’re a fan of Mary J Blige or rosé, this bottle will have you dancing. This jewel-like rosé is made from Pinot Grigio grapes and was too delicious to leave off the list. Light strawberry, lemon, and peach round out the flavor notes here, with a surprising peppery finish.
- Armani Pinot Grigio Colle Ara Orange Wine Want to lean toward the tart, dry side of Pinot Grigio? This Italian vintage provides a burst of lemon and pomegranate in its flavor notes, fantastic for savory lunches that crave contrast.
The $35 to $50 Pinot Grigio Price Range
Pinot Grigio fans, rejoice! It’s quite rare for these bottles to hit higher price ranges. Check these vintages out if you want to enjoy a different angle on traditional flavors.
- Meyer-Fonne Dorfburg Pinot Gris 2019 Remember: Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are the same grape, just grown in different regions. If you’re feeling like tasting what France has to offer, this bottle offers spiced fruit and a mineral aftertaste.
- Anne De K Pinot Gris Schlossberg Grand Cru This stately bottle makes it clear you’re going to get a unique experience once you pop open the top. This Pinot Grigio combines classic white peach with a pleasantly unique smoky finish.
Got a few more questions about Pinot Grigio? Keep reading to boost your 101 knowledge.
1. Is Pinot Grigio Dry or Sweet?
Pinot Grigio is a semi-sweet wine varietal, leaning toward dryness without sucking all the moisture off your tongue.
You’ll get more dulcet, honeyed flavors than Viognier or a Sauvignon Blanc, but not nearly as much sugariness as a Riesling. This balanced approach is a big reason why Pinot Grigio appeals to so many different wine drinkers.
2. What’s the Difference Between Riesling and Pinot Grigio?
It’s easy to confuse the two when starting out. Riesling and Pinot Grigio are both white wine grape varieties that boast similar flavors of green apple, yellow apple, and pear.
Their main differences lie in their sugar content and mouthfeel. Pinot Grigio is semi-sweet and a little dry, while Riesling is very sweet and rather acidic. That said, you can still find drier, lighter Rieslings are grown throughout Germany.
3. Is Pinot Grigio Sweeter Than Moscato?
While Pinot Grigio is satisfyingly semi-sweet, it’s nowhere near as sugary as a Moscato. The Muscat grape variety is so sweet it’s often served as a dessert wine instead of a meal complement.
Pinot Grigio is often one of the first wines people try when starting their wine journey. Its semi-sweet nature, familiar flavor notes, and low price point make it highly accessible all around.
Pinot Grigio got off to a rough start back in the 12th century due to low yields but is now one of the most beloved grape varieties. Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are the same grape but are grown in France and Italy, respectively. Pinot Gris is often sweeter, while Pinot Grigio tends to be zesty and bright. If you’re looking for a memorable summer wine, check out our suggestions and let us know what you think!