Pinot Grigio is part of a family of grapes originally grown in France and Italy - Pinot Noir/Nero (meaning black), Pinot Blanc/Bianco (meaning white) and Pinot Gris/Grigio (meaning grey). The ripe bunches of Pinot Grigio grapes have a pinkish grey tinge, somewhere between white and black, giving them their name. 

Here are some more drops of wine wisdom from two of our very own wine makers Clive Donaldson and Mark Jarman, and the key things to know when learning about this delicious wine.

Types of Pinot Grigio

Clive: Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are the same grape, but the wines have traditionally been made in different styles. In northern Italy the tradition was always to pick the grapes early before they developed too much of their pinkish grey colour - creating a light crisp unoaked wine with green apple and pear flavours. In Alsace where Pinot Gris is also grown, it’s left to fully ripen in the long and dry autumns to produce a richer full bodied white wine with stone fruit and spice notes.

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Pinot Gris is a tad punchier than Pinot Grigio - fruity and round with a note of honey and spice. 

The difference in the naming of the wine has really been carried over when the grape has been grown in other countries such as Australia, New Zealand and USA - Pinot Grigio normally implies a crisp medium bodied unoaked style while Pinot Gris normally implies a richer rounder wine, often with a touch of sweetness.

Growing The Grapes

Mark: The best climate for Pinot Grigio seems to be a relatively sunny but cool one. The grape excels in the alpine foothills around Trentino, where our Morrisons The Best Trentino Pinot Grigio comes from, or in Eastern Europe where our Morrisons Pinot Grigio hails from.

"The crucial word here is Trentino. The cool climate of this foothills-of-the-Alps region makes the wine dramatic and brings a bite of freshness to the finish."
Mathew Jukes 200 Best Value Summer Whites 2018, Daily Mail

Wine Tasting Notes

Clive: Pinot Grigio, with its soft round apple and peach flavours, has become very popular as it is generally unoaked and lighter than Chardonnay (its cousin) but less taut and acidic than Sauvignon Blanc.

The wine is widely grown in the same area as and has similarities to Glera, the grape used to make Prosecco.  Its apple and pear flavours will therefore be familiar to many regular fans of ‘fizz’. The unoaked crisp style is also similar to some other Italian white wines such as Soave or Gavi which those new to Pinot Grigio may be drinking already. The fuller, ‘rounder’ flavours would appeal to those looking for unoaked Chardonnay styles.

Morrisons Pinot Grigio "9/10"
The Best Wine in the Supermarkets 2018, Ned Halley

Pinot Grigio Pairings

Mark: The lighter, crisper Pinot Grigio wines are best served chilled and consumed young. Classic Alsace Pinot Gris is good in its youth, but can age beautifully if carefully stored.

With its medium weight and crisp unoaked style, Pinot Grigio makes an excellent food wine with the relatively subtle aromas and flavours allowing the food to shine. My steer is to try it with white fish, salads or creamy pasta.

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Having our very own Workshop Wine Co. means we can work directly with growers to craft wines that are true to their origin. This modern Pinot Grigio is fun and fruity with apple and pear flavours, subtle creamy texture and real finesse on the finish.

And if you like spicy, Asian-inspired dishes, wines with a trace of sweetness such as Alsace Pinot Gris or New Zealand Pinot Gris / Grigio work really go well.  Pinot Gris also works brilliantly with rich creamy cheeses such as Brie, Camembert or Munster.

Dishes To Try With Pinot Grigio

Blending Pinot Grigio For Morrisons

Clive: Pinot Grigio is often overlooked as a wine style. It’s a difficult grape to vinify (make into wine) and difficult to get right but we put an awful lot of time and work into getting our Pinot Grigio blends spot on. I’m very proud of our Morrisons Pinot Grigio, and it is our number 1 best-selling white wine. We usually blend a tiny percentage of Sauvignon Blanc into this blend - just enough to give it a touch of freshness.

Mark: It really is a fresh blend, I love that bottle too. A second that I’d urge customers to try is The Best Trentino Pinot Grigio, which we carefully blend looking for a lovely generous roundness to the mid-palate but with a refreshing finish that’s ideal for those not yet fully immersed in the possibilities of Pinot.

A third ‘pick would be our The Best Alsace Pinot Gris - we've worked very closely with the Cave de Turckheim on this one, to get a rich but balanced style - just enough sweetness and good 'grip' on the palate.  The current 2017 is looking really promising and will only get better, so look out for that one.

Clive & Marks’ Recommendations

 

Morrisons The Best Trentino Pinot Grigio

A classic high quality Italian example...

 

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Brancott Pinot Grigio

A good example of modern new world style with just a touch of sweetness...

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