Riesling vs. Pinot Grigio

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Pewsey Vale 1961 Block Riesling 2019

Pewsey Vale 1961 Block Riesling 2019


Casere Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2021

Casere Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2021


Riesling and Pinot Grigio are white wines hailing from Germany and France but making a name for themselves globally. They’re about the same price, and both have fruit flavors with very little residual sugar, so they’re almost as low-calorie as wines get. They pair well with lighter dishes like shrimp or chicken salad, but they’re incredibly versatile and can go with most meals.

What Is Similar About Riesling and Pinot Grigio?

Riesling and Pinot Grigio are medium-bodied white wines. They’re both grown worldwide, but Riesling is most popular and mostly grown in Germany, where it originates. About 25 percent of Germany’s harvests are Riesling, and a little more than 5 percent are Pinot Grigio. Both wines are usually quite dry, but their fruitiness can trick the tongue into thinking they’re a bit sweeter than reality.

Pinot Grigio and Riesling can pair well with seafood and chicken; just stray from acidic foods like tomato-based sauces. Pinot Grigio is acidic for wine, and you don’t want both the wine and food to have high acidity.

Man and woman's hand clinking wine glasses - Riesling vs. Pinot Grigio.

What Is The Difference Between Riesling vs. Pinot Grigio?

Pinot Grigio is an ancient wine originating from France, where it may have been known by other names. This makes it difficult to determine its actual age. From there, it went to Switzerland before eventually spreading across the world. Meanwhile, Riesling is from Germany, and then it spread to France and Austria. Some historians suspect that it was initially grown in France or at least on the countries’ border. It’s possible that it fell out of favor with the French because the crop didn’t do well in the area. Nonetheless, today’s Riesling is very much a German wine.

Pinot Grigio has tropical flavors like Champagne, which makes sense because it’s one of the seven grapes allowed in Champagne. Riesling has fruity flavors but not the flavor of tropical fruit.

Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?

Pinot Grigio might be a little drier on average, but it’s difficult to compare to Riesling, which is often quite sweet in some countries. Riesling made in Germany is undoubtedly as dry as Pinot Grigio, however. This is one of those times where it’s essential to look at the label on the bottom to determine if one might be sweeter than the other.

Which One Has More Alcohol Content?

Riesling and Pinot Grigio have about the same alcohol content, ranging from 12.5 to 13.5 percent ABV. Sometimes Riesling can end up with a little less, perhaps around 7 percent, but this isn’t overly common. In general, they’re both considered medium-bodied wines, so their alcohol content is usually about the same.

How Do I Choose Between Riesling and Pinot Grigio?

When choosing between Riesling and Pinot Grigio, consider whether you want a wine that tastes like tropical fruit or non-tropical fruit. Do you enjoy wine from Germany or France? Both wines are on the dry side, but do you want wine that’s bone dry or just barely considered dry? They’re priced about the same, so the budget isn’t a significant factor.


Riesling and Pinot Grigio have a lot in common, from price and alcohol content to growing around the same region in Europe. It might be hard to choose between these two. However, Riesling isn’t a trendy wine outside of Germany. So your local wine shop is almost guaranteed to have a more comprehensive selection of Pinot Grigio.

Pewsey Vale 1961 Block Riesling 2019

Pewsey Vale 1961 Block Riesling 2019


Casere Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2021

Casere Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2021