It is the middle of summer and many of us tend to drink more of the softer white wines as we relax on our decks or patios.
Of course there are the old standbys: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Moscato. But five to seven years ago three other white wines began to gain popularity in the world of white wines. They were Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc.
Both Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are both made from the same grape variety. Pinot Gris originated in the Alsace region of France. Pinot Gris is the name of the grape in France (gris means “gray”). Pinot Grigio is the Italian name for the wine. The wines can have similar flavor profiles but also have minor style differences depending on where and how they are made.
Italian Style Pinot Grigio: Usually totally dry, crisp and light-bodied with citrus aromas on the nose.
French Style Pinot Gris: Can be much richer, more full-bodied, fleshy and sometimes sweet.
American Pinot Grigio: Often has an exaggerated fruit flavors and with less acidity than European wines.
Overall Taste and Flavor Profile
Pinot Grigio is dry, light- to full-bodied with aromas of lemon-lime, pear and stone fruit like peach and apricot. There also may be scents of almond, spices or honeysuckle. Flavors range from melon to green apple; some offer citrus fruit. Typically, the medium to high acidity keeps the wine from being too sweet. Pinot Grigio is low in tannins and tends to be a leaner body style if made in Italy. The same grape in Germany, France and other new world areas often are a bit fuller-bodied and richer tasting.
Pinot Blanc Wine
Pinot Blanc is a white wine grape used to make a dry French wine by the same name. The grape is a white mutation of the Pinot Gris (which is a mutation of Pinot Noir) which originated in Burgundy, France. Pinot Blanc grapes can be used to make still, sparkling and sweet dessert wines. Depending on how Pinot Blanc is made it can be light and refreshing or oaked and full-bodied. It has strong aromas with hints of apple and almond and can have a medium to high alcohol content.
Pinot Blanc Taste and Profile
Pinot Blanc wine is very similar to Chardonnay in that it is dry and medium- to full-bodied with bright flavors. It is typically high in acidity, like Chardonnay. Due to the high acidity it can have a sour to tart profile depending on how it was made. When oak-aged, the wine can take on a creamy, textured mouthfeel.
Pinot Grigio pairs well with foods like grilled shrimp, shellfish, mussels, oysters, clams, fresh vegetables, salads and light appetizers.
Pinot Gris’ complexity and richness will stand-up to a heartier dish such as savory fish in cream sauce, pork, duck, chicken or turkey as a main course. On the side you can add greens, grilled zucchini, Brussels sprouts or seasoned broccoli.
Pinot Blanc pairs well with roasted chicken, salads with citrusy dressings, mild cheeses and seafood and pasta with acidity or creamy sauces.
Pinot Grigio has a tendency to be less expensive than Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. Currently Pinot Grigio is the second largest selling white wine in the U.S. (behind Chardonnay and ahead of Sauvignon Blanc).
If you haven’t tried these wines you should. They certainly pair well with the foods we love to eat in the summer and an afternoon on the deck or patio.
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Look Forward To These Happy Things:
Upcoming LEX 530 Events!
LEX 530 Wine & Dinner Club Dinner – Wednesday, August 26, 2020 – Partnering with Artisian
Oktoberfest Dinner – Tuesday, September 22, 2020 – with Elkhart’s Iechyd Da Brewing Company
Artisian Wine Dinner in Partnership with LEX 530 – Wednesday, October 7, 2020 – held at Artisan
Special Guest Winemaker Wine Dinner – late October (date TBD)
LEX 530 Wine & Dinner Club Dinner – Friday, November 20, 2020
Important Wine Holidays
August 1-5 – International Albariño Days
August 4 – National White Wine Day
August 18 – International Pinot Noir Day
September 3 – International Cabernet Day
September 18 – International Grenache Day
November 7 – International Merlot Day
November 12 – International Tempranillo Day
November 18 – International Zinfandel Day
December 4 – Cabernet Franc Day
December 20 – National Sangria Day
December 31 – National Champagne Day