Pinot Grigio vs. Sauvignon Blanc
April 21, 2022
Once you’ve discovered what your favorite type of wine is you can get stuck in a cycle of only ordering that same type of wine. There’s nothing wrong with drinking what you know you like, but wouldn’t you want to branch out a little bit and see if there’s something else out there you like as well?
Knowing how one type of wine compares to another type of wine can help you determine whether you might like one if you like the other. It can also give you a better understanding of the flavor differences between wines.
Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc are two of the most popular white wines in the world, but they have distinctly different flavor profiles. So just because you like one of them doesn’t mean you’ll like the other one.
That being said, you truly won’t know if you like one or the other without trying them yourself.
Let’s take a look at both Pinot Grigio wine and Sauvignon Blanc wine and see what the differences and similarities are.
What is Pinot Grigio?
Pinot Grigio is a lighter, fruitier tasting white wine, produced from the second most popular grape varietal in America, and has become one of the most popular wines in the world.
Pinot Grigio is the type of wine you could drink daily. It’s more on the dry side, but also has a bit of sweetness to it so it would appeal to drinkers of both sweet and dry wines.
This wine is a very neutral wine which allows it to be paired with many different foods. If you’re truly looking for a spectacular food pairing though, we would suggest light dishes that you would eat outside on a summer evening. A nice seafood salad, chicken alfredo, fresh mozzarella, and even sushi make great pairings for this wine.
If you’re looking for an extremely versatile wine that isn’t overly dry, but also not super sweet, Pinot Grigio is a great place to start.
What is Sauvignon Blanc?
Sauvignon Blanc is a totally different grape varietal than Pinot Grigio. Sauvignon Blanc grapes originated from the Bordeaux region of France and is also one of the most popular wine varieties in the world.
The flavor of Sauvignon Blanc stands apart from Pinot Grigio as it has more of an herbal, grassy-type flavor as opposed to the fruitier flavor of the Pinot. This flavor comes from a compound in the grapes known as pyrazine. Depending on the climate the grapes are grown in, you can get more subtle fruity flavors, but it’s not going to be quite like the Pinot Grigio flavors.
Sauvignon Blanc pairs very well with more delicate and flaky fish, certain cheeses, fresh herbs, and even some seafoods like oysters. Sauvignon Blanc is typically more acidic than Pinot Grigio, so the food pairings are going to be slightly different between the two wines.
Pinot Grigio vs. Sauvignon Blanc Wine
Now that we know a little bit more about these two different types of wines, which one should you choose?
Sauvignon Blanc has a higher level of acidity, while Pinot Grigio tends to be a little less acidic. The acidity level in wine causes changes to the taste of the wine. The higher the acidity the tarter or crisp a wine might be, while the lower acidity levels will lend itself to a smoother taste.
If you’re looking for something on the smoother, more well-rounded, side, we would recommend starting off with the Pinot Grigio.
When it comes to the flavor of the wine, Pinot Grigio typically has more of a light, fruity vibe to it while the Sauvignon Blanc is going to vary based on the climate the grapes were grown in. Warmer climates are going to have hints of more tropical fruits, while colder climates are going to have more citrus flavors.
Sauvignon Blanc does have a higher level of acidity, as we mentioned, so you’re not likely to get the super sweet flavors on your tongue. They may be a little more muted or taste a bit sour due to the dryness of the wine.
In terms of alcohol percentages of these two wines, they both range from 12% – 14%, which is about medium when it comes to alcohol levels in wine.
When deciding between a glass of Pinot Grigio and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, it’s hard to really go wrong. These wines are similar enough in their ability to pair well with summer food dishes and light enough to be an everyday wine, that the choice really comes down to preference.
If you’re looking for something slightly sweeter, fruity, and well-rounded, try the Pinot Grigio. If you’re looking for something with higher acidity levels and a little drier, but still on the lighter side, go with the Sauvignon Blanc.
Here is a list of a few of our favorite Sauvignon Blancs:
And some of our favorite Pinot Grigios:
PC: Niner Wine Estates, Bianchi Winery, Parrish Family Vineyard, The Wine Wave of Delray