Sauvignon Blanc vs. Pinot Noir: The Untold Similarities, Differences & Selection Criteria

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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You’re probably wondering, how many, if any, similarities do these wines have compared to one another? Which is sweeter? Which contains more alcohol? Let’s get right into the specifics in comparison to these two wines!


Is Sauvignon Blanc The Same As Pinot Noir?

Sauvignon Blanc is not the same as Pinot Noir. The two have many differences that set them aside from each other. However, you’ll find their differences can come together when preparing your next cuisine for that dinner party next weekend!


What Is Similar About Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir?

Aside from both the wine’s grapes originating in France, you’ll find two main elements when comparing these wines for similarities. These would be the wine styles and the slight similarities in food pairing matches. 

Both of these wines can be created into dry wines, and both also pair with a few specific types of meat. 

This provides an opportunity to curate a meal for your dinner party, including meats like pork and chicken, and serve both Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, leaving your guests with two great wine choices.


What Is The Difference Between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir?

The differences between the two, however, are bigger than the similarities. These differences include elements of the wine such as color, grape type, and the base flavors of each wine. 

Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine made with a green grape variety from France, and its base notes consist of gooseberry, honeydew, peach, and passionfruit.

You’ll find the Pinot Noir to be quite different in these specific elements of the wine. Pinot Noir is a red wine created from a red wine grape variety originating from France. 

Pinot Noir’s base notes include cherry, raspberry, mushroom, and clove. Another notable note for this wine that is popular among its fans is hibiscus.


Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?

It’s important to consider that Pinot Noir is only made into a dry style wine, and a Sauvignon Blanc is made into sweet and dry styles. 

Generally speaking, because of this, a sweet styled Sauvignon Blanc would obviously be sweeter than the Pinot Noir. It’s also important to know when considering if any wine is sweeter than the other. 

White wines will almost always provide more sweetness than red wines.


Which One Has More Alcohol Content?

The alcohol content of both wines can vary depending on where they are produced. This ultimately can vary. 

In general, it’s important to note that warmer regions will produce wine with a slightly higher alcohol content than cooler regions will. Next time you are trying to decide on wine from France or California, keep that in mind.

 Pinot Noir’s alcohol content can vary depending on the climate in which it was produced. Cooler regions will produce Pinot Noir, which carries an average of 12-13% alcohol by volume. 

Warmer regions will produce a Pinot Noir with an average of 13-15% alcohol by volume. Sauvignon Blanc’s alcohol content can also depend on the climate but overall carries around 12-14% alcohol content.


How Do I Choose Between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir?

If you are someone who prefers red wines with notes of cherry or raspberry, you might enjoy a Pinot Noir more than you would a Sauvignon Blanc. 

It’s considered to be a good red wine for beginners, and if you enjoy wines like Gamay, you will enjoy a Pinot Noir.

If you consider yourself a white wine kind of person who enjoys the fruity notes of passion fruit, grapefruit, and honeydew, you will enjoy a Sauvignon Blanc over a Pinot Noir. 

Sauvignon Blanc is also a great wine for those beginning in the white wine half of the community.


Final Thoughts on Sauvignon Blanc vs. Pinot Noir

While Sauvignon Blanc is not the same as Pinot Noir, you’ll find they both compliment meats like pork and chicken. This doesn’t set aside the obvious differences between the two: the color, flavors, and aroma of the two wines. 

Since white wine, in general, is found to be sweeter than red wine, it’s safe to say that Sauvignon Blanc is sweeter than Pinot Noir; and when comparing their alcohol content, things begin to align. 

However, when deciding on the alcohol content of any wine, it’s important to remember that wines produced in warmer regions will contain more alcohol content than wine produced in a cooler region.