Pinot Grigio is one of the world’s most popular wines. The white wine grape variety is known by a few different names including Pinot Gris in France and Ruländer in Germany.
Pinot Grigio wines vary depending on where they are grown and how they are made. Italian Pinot Grigio is usually light and fruity while French Pinot Gris has more of a mineral flavour. As a mutation of the Pinot Noir grape, it can be found around the world and in a number of different expressions from crisp to velvety and dry to sweet. Being something of a chameleon, the Pinot grape can be found in a variety of colours from pale gold to pink.
Pinot Grigio is an often easy-drinking white from north-eastern Italy. In this part of the world, Pinot Grigio pairs well with a variety of foods and nearly anything from the sea, baring its crisp, sweet fruit flavours, brisk acidity and quaffable personality. But in other parts of the world, such as Alsace and France, Pinot Grigio puts away its light heart and wears a shroud of structure and spice. In these parts, they are serious wines that can sometimes need time in the cellar to fully express their potential.
When it comes to Pinot Grigio, you have to know what buying because each style comes with a whole new variety of food pairing dos and don’ts. Over the years, experts and enthusiasts have tasted it from all over the world and even delved into “orange” style wines which often use Pinot Grigio, pairing them with different recipes to find what pairs best. What they’ve all learnt is these wines are well-worth their attention and ours.
It is best to drink Pinot Grigio when it’s young and it’s the perfect choice for warm weather like we have almost throughout the year in most parts of Nigeria. It pairs well with light food like chicken and seafood, but the acid is also great for balancing some rich sauces and slightly spicy edibles. It’s best to avoid serving Pinot Grigio with acidic dishes like tomato sauce and citrus.
We know how intimidating pronouncing some French and Italian wines could be, especially when you need to order them in that fancy restaurant on that important date. Pinot Grigio is pronounced “pee-noh gree-jhee-oh”. The “t” is silent and the second “g” rolls of the tongue as in “gist” and not “game”. Pinot means “pine cone” and it is probably called this because the grapes grow in clusters of that shape. Grigio means “gray”, which may be describing greenish-gray colour of the grapes even though they come in other colours.
As mentioned earlier, Pinot Grigio is one of the most popular wines in the world and many say this is because more often than not, it is pleasing to the palette. However, its popularity is a reason why wine snobs may turn their noses up faster at them than they will at a Merlot or Chardonnay. But what do they know? Now that you know a lot more about Pinot Grigio, you should pick up a bottle or two and enjoy them.