What is Pinot Gris?

While the grape is basically the same, wines that call themselves Pinot Gris are usually richer in the elegant Alsace (French) style. A wine that calls itself Pinot Grigio on the other hand will usually be in the light and easy Italian style, even if it is often lacking flavour.

It was Pinot Grigio that burst on the scene some five years ago, quickly becoming a popular, good-value alternative to Chardonnay, especially the oaked styles. White wine producers around the world have caught on with the fashion. So New Zealand, home to Sauvignon Blanc, is flexing its muscles with a little Pinot Gris. So too are the cooler climate areas of New Zealand.

Canada is producing rich, full-bodied versions. The richest is the version from Alsace, which can be an excellent match to spicy foods.

Main characteristics

Colour: white; varies from pale to a tinge of pink, as befits a relative of the (red) pinot noir grape

Body: medium bodied

Tastes: delicately floral aroma, can be rich and full in the mouth, with flavours of pear and melon

AKA: Pinot Grigio ('pee-no gree-zhe-oh'); Grauburgunder (Germany)

Often blended with: rarely

Keep or drink? drink

Price range: £3.99-£6.99 for mass market styles; from £8.99 to £20 for top quality

Try it with

Soy roast duck with hoisin gravy
Crispy pork and vegetable rolls
Lettuce rolls