Chenin Blanc vs. Pinot Grigio

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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When it comes to wine, there are going to be a few ways to approach selecting the right vintage. Most of the time, you will need to find something to give to another person. 

Summer and warm weather bring white wines and rosés, while autumn would be during the period of Thanksgiving when a good red wine would be appropriate. 

In this case, we must consider white wines to consider Chenin Blanc, a versatile selection that will pair well with a wide range of foods. Pinot Gris (or Grigio) is a light wine with zesty citrus fruit flavors with notes of earthiness. 


What are the Similarities?

The Chenin Blanc grape is versatile and can be made into many different forms of wine, starting with Dry, off-dry, sweet, and sparkling. That being said, the closest that Pinot Gris and Chenin Blanc come to flavor will be between the sweet styles and traditional Pinot. 

Sweet Chenin Blanc will have rich flavors of toasted almond, mango, and mandarin orange, which can be compared to the Pinot Gris primary flavors of raw almonds, cantaloupe, and lemon zest. 

Each of these two vintages will pair nicely with lighter dishes and fresh seafood plates and can be served as a solo beverage option during entertainment events. 


What are the Differences?

Pinot Gris is going to be a simple vintage, which requires simple winemaking processes to create the iconic flavor profile and primary flavors sommeliers look for in this type of vintage. 

That being said, there is only one way to make this wine type, leading us to the Chenin Blanc grape varieties of wine. 

Depending on the grape’s ripeness, vineyard winemakers can create four different varieties of wine, each with their unique taste profile and primary flavors. 

So where Pinot Gris can pair with lighter foods and dishes, Chenin Blanc will have the versatility to match with multiple types of foods. 


Pros and Cons: Chenin Blanc vs Pinot Grigio

The pro for Pinot Grigio will be the ease with which to drink and cook with this vintage, and the zesty citrus flavor will be a benefit to most fish and light pasta dishes. 

However, the con will be the limit to which you can pair this vintage as a beverage, leaving it restricted to lighter dishes and as a stand-alone for entertainment endeavors and public events. 

The con for Chenin Blanc will be the confusion that some will experience when trying to select the right type of wine, being there are such wide varieties to select from. 

However, on that same token, more knowledgeable wine enthusiasts and sommeliers will know what to look for and enjoy the plethora of different vintages that pair with just about any food dish cooked on earth. 


Which Wine is More Versatile?

This one is going to be easy to assess, being that out of all three categories: brewing techniques, food pairings, and cooking abilities, Chenin Blanc will carry two of them.

To start, Pinot Gris will be the better option to cook with, infused with a nice zesty, citrusy flavor palette that can be amazing in the right seafood pasta dishes, grilled chicken salads, or otherwise. 

Chenin Blanc is better for drinking rather than cooking, meaning that when you select one of these vintages, you will have no issue finding a bottle to match the evening’s meal plans. 

On the other hand, Pinot will only pair with certain dishes and does not have the versatility of Chenin Blanc during the winemaking process. 


Which one has more Tannins?

Pinot Gris will be one of the white wine varieties that filters out all of the organic compounds and microorganisms found in red wines. 

Thus, when it comes to Chenin Blanc’s versatility, you will find that certain types will have tannins in them, making them the winner in this comparison. 

Therefore, it can be easily concluded that if you are looking for a little extra bitter for your wine selection, it is best to consider using a Chenin Blanc variety of wine instead of white wine like Pinot Grigio. 


Final Thoughts on Chenin Blanc vs. Pinot Grigio

After you complete the rigorous set of Chenin Blanc varieties of wine, you will have to complete a comparison for just the grape itself. 

There are just so many different ways to enjoy the juices of this unique grape and so many foods to pair it with, leaving wine enthusiasts on a taste bud journey. 

Pinot Grigio is going to be a solid choice to drink alone, especially when on a beach vacation (romantic getaway tip) or at home unwinding with a few friends at the pool. Remember, light zesty salads and pasta pair best with this white wine.