What Does Pinot Grigio Taste Like?

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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One of the most popular white wines in the world, Pinot Grigio (also known as Pinot Gris) produces light- to medium-bodied dry white wines with a zesty, refreshing taste. With medium to high acidity, they can have tasting notes of:  

  • White peach
  • Lemon zest
  • Limes 
  • Green apples
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeysuckle
  • Raw almond 
  • Crushed gravel

Although Pinot Grigio is originally from Burgundy in France (where it is known as Pinot Gris), it became popular in Northern Italy. Today, it is the most popular white wine in Italy and the most imported white wine in the US.

Pinot Grigio in a glass - what does it taste like?

Does Pinot Grigio Taste Good?

Yes, Pinot Grigio tastes good, which is why it is one of the most popular white wines in the world. In addition, its light and approachable taste makes it a refreshing choice of white wine, especially in summer.

How would you describe the taste of Pinot Grigio?

There are three main types of Pinot Grigio; however, all three have tasting notes of: 

  • Green apples 
  • Lemon Zest
  • Limes 
  • Honeysuckle 
  • Cantaloupe 

‘Minerally and Dry’ Pinot grigios are perhaps the most well-known and hail predominately from Northern Italy. High in acidity and low in alcohol, they are known for their faded fruit flavors and notes of: 

  • Crushed gravel 
  • Saline 
  • Minerality 

‘Fruity and Dry’ Pinot grigios are typically referred to as ‘Pinot Gris’ as this style of wine originated in France. Today, this type of Pinot Grigio is also grown in regions such as Oregon, New Zealand, Chile, and Australia. These wines are fruit-forward with lower acidity and an oily texture in the mouth. They are still, however, dry wines and have zesty tasting notes of: 

  • Lemon 
  • White peach 
  • Yellow Apple 
  • Raw almonds 

The least common are ‘Fruity and Sweet’ Pinot Gris wines from the Alsace region of France. The grapes are harvested late, and grapes covered in noble rot are preferred to increase the sweetness of the wine. These wines will have strong tasting notes of: 

  • Sweet lemon 
  • Honeycomb 
  • Honey crisp apples 

How will I know if I like the taste of Pinot Grigio?

You will like Pinot Grigio if you like white wines with zesty, crisp flavors of citrus fruits and green apples. In addition, its minerality makes it a great choice of wine for those looking for something refreshing on the hot days of summer.

Is Pinot Grigio sweet, bitter, or dry?

Most Pinot Grigios are dry wine, meaning that little-to-no residual sugar is left in the wine at the end of the fermentation process. As these wines also tend to be of medium acidity, they can taste even less sweet than other white wine varieties like Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. 

The exception is the ‘fruity and sweet’ Pinot Gris from Alsace in France. Made from Pinot Gris grapes that are covered in noble rot and harvested late, these wines have a high sugar content and low acidity, making them sweet.

Is the taste of Pinot Grigio a nice wine for beginners?

Pinot Grigio is a great white wine for beginners as it is light and approachable. The most popular are Pinot Grigio wines from Italy, as their minerality and soft fruit flavors make them easily palatable. As they are one of the most popular white wine varieties in the world, Pinot Grigio is widely available and at a range of prices. Try to avoid budget Pinot Grigio which will be too acidic with little taste of the fruits that make it so refreshing. 

Pinot Grigio is also a nice choice for beginners as it can be paired beautifully with a wide variety of food. As it is a light white wine with zesty flavor notes, try pairing it with: 

  • White meats like chicken and turkey
  • Seafood like scallops, cod, halibut, trout, or oysters 
  • Raw fish dishes like ceviche or sashimi 
  • Moules-Frites 
  • Fresh vegetables and salads 
  • Mild, soft cheeses like mozzarella or chevre

Final Thoughts on Pinot Grigio’s Taste

Pinot Grigio is a light and refreshing white variety known for its zesty fruit flavors like green apple, lemon zest, limes, cantaloupe, and honeysuckle. The wines are light- to -medium-bodied and dry with a medium-to-high acidity, which can make them taste a lot less sweet than other white wine varieties. 

There are three main types of Pinot Grigio which, although they share similar notes, will differ in their final taste profile:

  • Mineral and Dry Pinot Grigios from Northern Italy 
  • Fruity and Dry Pinot Gris from France and regions like Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Oregon  
  • Fruity and Sweet Pinot Gris from Alsace, France

Pinot Grigio wines are some of the most popular white wines in the world and make a great choice for beginners as they are light, refreshing, and approachable. They also pair beautifully with a wide variety of foods, notably white meats, seafood, and fresh vegetables.