Despite being two of the United States’ least popular white wines, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio still hold considerable market share. They have about twice the amount of wine as Moscato and nearly none of the sugar. They’re both from France, but today they’re produced in many countries, which gives more variety to their flavor.
What Is Similar About Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio?
Both Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are white wines. As evidenced by their names, they originate from France. They’re usually described as crisp and light to medium-bodied. They have a similar level of dryness. Although Pinot Grigio lacks some of Sauvignon Blanc’s earthy flavors, both wines can taste a little like lime.
These wines also enjoy similar levels of popularity in North America. They don’t have the commercial success of Chardonnay or Champagne, but they’re not as unknown as Zinfandel or Pinot Noir. They’re generally some of the least popular white wines, though, trailing far behind Moscato and even Riesling.
Lastly, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are usually about the same color. Even white wines can have considerable variation in color, but these two end up with similar shades of pale yellow.
What Is The Difference Between Sauvignon Blanc vs. Pinot Grigio?
The major difference between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio is the aromatics, or more simply, the smell of the wine. Smell is incredibly important to how people perceive taste. Pinot Grigio has a fairly neutral smell, whereas Sauvignon Blanc jumps out at your nose. The latter smells like gooseberries, elderflowers, and freshly cut grass. Unfortunately, some people also describe the smell as “cat pee,” but this is hardly an overwhelming smell of Sauvignon Blanc. Wine is like cheese in that having a strong, unique smell usually isn’t a bad thing.
In addition, Sauvignon Blanc has a consistent method of production, so the grapes themselves are what change the wine from year to year. The flavor of the grape changes based on its environment, especially the climate in which it’s grown. A Sauvignon Blanc from France won’t taste the same as one from New Zealand, even if all controllable conditions were the same. Pinot Grigio’s production varies considerably. Variation between bottles can sometimes be attributed to the fermentation process and not the harvest.
Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?
The majority of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio is not sweet. They have little residual sugar despite their fruity flavors. However, it’s possible to find sweeter versions of both. For example, Cartesian’s 2020 Sauvignon Blanc from California is on the sweeter side, as well as Sweet Bitch’s Pinot Grigio. Note that while most dry wines have a sweeter version, they’re likely not as sweet as wine that’s usually sweet, only slightly less dry.
Which One Has More Alcohol Content?
Sauvignon Blanc has 12.5 to 14.5 percent ABV. Pinot Grigio usually has about 12.5 to 13.5 percent ABV. So, they can be quite similar, but if you were choosing a bottle randomly, Sauvignon Blanc is likely to have a tiny bit more alcohol than Pinot Grigio.
How Do I Choose Between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio?
To choose between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, consider the flavors you prefer. Pinot Grigio is fruity and citrusy but otherwise quite neutral. It’s often suggested as a great beginner wine because it lacks intense or odd flavors that need an acquired taste. But that doesn’t mean Sauvignon Blanc is a bad choice. Indeed, it might be the perfect fit for someone wanting to explore outside of their comfort zone.
These wines have many similarities, but their differences are hard to miss. Pinot Grigio is a more neutral wine in both smell and flavor. Sauvignon Blanc is bold and intense, and sometimes it has a little more alcohol than Pinot Grigio. They tend to have fewer calories than other white wines because they’re dry with little residual sugar.