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Pinot Grigio/Gris

  (PEE-no GREE- gee-oh, PEE-no GREE)
Synonyms: Pinot Gris, Tokay, Tokay d’ Alsace, Pinot Beurot, Malvosie (France), Pinot Grigio (Italy), Graüburgunder (Germany) , Malvosie (Switzerland), Szürkebarat (Hungary), Affume, Anche Cendree, Arnaison gris, Aserat, Auvergne gris, Auvernas gris, Auvernat gris, Auvernet, Auxerrat, Auxerrois gris, Auxois, Baratszinszoeloe, Bayonner, Beurot, Biliboner, Borgogna grigio, Burgundac Sivi, Burgunder Roter, Burgundske Sede, Burgundske Sive, Burot, Casper, Champagner, Claevner Roth, Cordonnier gris, Crvena Klevanjka, Drusen, Drusent, Druser, Edelklevner, Enfume, Faultraube, Fauvet, Fromenteau gris, Fromentot, Grau Clevnet, Grauer Burgunder, Grauer Moench, Grauklaeber, Grauklevner, Gris Commun, Gris Cordelier, Griset, Hamsas Szoello, Hamuszoeloe, Kapuzinerkutten, Klevanjka, Klevanjka Crvena, Levrant, Levraut, Malvasier grau, Mauserl, Mausfarbe, Moreote gris, Murys, Muscade, Musler, Noirin gris, Ouche, Petit gris, Pineau Cendree, Pineau gris, Pinot Cendre, Pinot Franc gris,  Pinot Seryi, Piros Kisburgundi, Pirosburgundi, Pyzhik, Rauchler, Raulander, Rehfahl, Reilander, Reloender, Rheingrau, Rheintraube, Riesling grau, Rohlander, Rollander, Roloender Drusen, Rother Clewner, Rouci Sedive, Ruhlandi, Rulaender, Rulaender Sivi, Rulander, Ryjik, Ryzik, Savoyertraube grau, Savoyertraube roth, Schieler, Sivi Pinot, Speyerer, Spinovy Hrozen, Stahler, Strahler, Szuerke Kisburgundi, Szuerke Klevner, Szuerkebarat, Tokayer, Valais, Wiliboner, Zelenak

Wine Name: Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris

Background: Pinot Grigio is thought to be a mutant clone of Pinot Noir. This is an all around grape which can be made in styles from dry to sweet. It is usually not made as a high acid grape and it can be honey flavored with age. In most cool climates (Alsace France being an exception), Pinot Gris produces more acidic wines with apple, pear, and a mild flowery aroma with honeyed or honeysuckle overtones. Italian Pinot Grigio would be an example. Alsace in northeastern France has a cool climate but in the fall, the climate is very dry and the grapes can have a long hang time in which they get continued sunshine for ripening. The results in Alsace are more flavors usually associated with grapes grown in a warm climate: melon, ripe bananas and mango and a dry wine with medium acidity. In temperate (non cool) climates such as Oregon and New Zealand, the Pinot Gris grape takes on aromas of flowers, almonds, nuts, apricots and the wine is fruity, “fruit forward”, with lower acidity.

Classic Brands and Sources: Alsace – FE Trimbach, Domaine Schlumberger, Domaine Weinbach, Domaine Zind-Humbrecht; Oregon – A to Z, Elk Cove, Evesham Wood, Ponzi, WillaKenzie Estate; Italy – Lageder, Schiopetto, Cavit


Style #1 – cool climate, dry

Body medium

Acidity – medium (+) to high

Sweetness – dry

Tannins – low

Style #2 – warm climate

Body – medium

Acidity – medium to medium (+)

Sweetness – dry to slightly fruity

Tannins – low

Style #3 – ice wine

Body – medium plus to full

Acidity – perceived as low

Sweetness – semi-sweet to sweet

Tannins – low


Wine and food pairing guidelines:
Cool climate – pairs better with acidic foods. Warm climate – goes with both slightly acidic foods and non acidic savory foods except those with moderate to high butter, fat or oil. Ice wine goes with sweet desserts

Foods and Entrees that usually pair:
Warm and cool climate styles pair with fish, shellfish, chicken, pork and veal with both acidic and light savory sauces; salads, sushi. Ice wine versions pair with sweet desserts.

Cheese Pairings:
Boursin herbed (cool climate), Brick, Derby, Feta (sheep’s milk), goat’s cheese, Gouda, Havarti, Majorero (Spanish hard goat cheese) Mahon, Bucheron (French goat cheese), dry Jack cheese, Cream (warm weather), Neufchatel , Saint – Felicien (French cow;s milk cheese), Raclette, Pave Affinois

Appetizer Pairings:

See Appetizers to go with Dry Pinot Grigio