Discover more about this incredibly popular wine grape variety and the best dishes to enhance the flavours of this dry white wine.
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What is pinot grigio wine?
Pinot grigio is one of the most popular grapes in Britain. In fact, there are few pubs that would omit it from the wine list. Most are simple dry wines from northern Italy, ideal for drinking cold on sunny days. But, in Alsace, where it’s known as pinot gris, it makes perfumed wine dripping with honey and spice.
Pinot gris was first discovered in Burgundy, though it’s rarely seen in its home territory. You’re more likely to find it in Alsace, where it produces a range of wines. It’s a mutation of pinot noir and means ‘grey pinot’, but wines made from the grape have a faint pink tinge. Despite its French origins, it’s best known by its Italian name, pinot grigio. It’s planted all over northern Italy, especially around Venice and in the foothills of the Alps. It’s also grown in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, England, the US, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Pinot grigio can be used in sparkling wine and is allowed (but rarely seen) in champagne. Growers take advantage of the pink skin to make pale rosés or orange wines, too.
What does pinot grigio wine taste like?
Pinot grigio is usually crisp, with citrus fruit, apples and a hint of spice. Richer bottles, especially those from Alsace, can have notes of peaches, candied ginger, honey and rose petal. Most pinot grigio is dry, but it’s also made in off-dry and even sweet styles, particularly in Alsace. Generally, it’s seen on its own, but it sometimes appears in blends, too.
What dishes go well with pinot grigio wine?
Italian pinot grigio is great with seafood recipes. It also pairs well with fresh veg dishes, like green pea risotto. In off-dry form, it’s great with lighter Indian dishes and Thai recipes made with coconut. Richer wines go well with creamy cheeses, such as fondue. Sweet bottles would be perfect with a mixed fruit tart, pears in syrup or simply a ripe Italian peach served alongside mozzarella.
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