If Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay had a baby, it’d be Pinot Grigio.
Let me explain.
Pinot Grigio is similar to Sauvignon Blanc in that it’s a crisp, lemony-lime, dry white wine. But it tends to be a little less acidic, and have a little more body.
By the same token, Pinot Grigio doesn’t have near the body or richness of Chardonnay, even a crisp style Chard.
It’s somewhere in between the two. And that’s a good thing.
Because sometimes Sauvignon Blanc is just too light and acidic, while Chardonnay is too rich and heavy.
What does this mean for food and wine pairing?
It means that, while Sauvignon Blanc is classic with salad with vinaigrette dressing, if you’re having a creamier dressing—and hence, a slightly richer salad—Pinot Grigio is perfect.
And while Chardonnay is great with grilled chicken, if you’re having a grilled chicken salad—and hence, a slightly lighter, brighter chicken dish—Pinot Grigio is, again, perfect.
(What about Pinot Gris? That’s France’s name for the same grape. Because the French don’t label their wines by grape type, you’re unlikely to see “Pinot Gris” on a French wine bottle. But a non-French producer might use the term, presumably to indicate the wine is made in a French style versus an Italian one.)
Some other dishes that pair perfectly with Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris:
Fillet of Sole with Lemon-Wine Pan Sauce
Classic Cobb Salad
Lemon- and Prosciutto-Stuffed Pork Loin
Grilled Salad with Romaine, Peppers, Feta, and Cilantro
Carrot Risotto with Scallions
Tricolor Tomato Fettuccine
Linguine with Shrimp and White Wine
With the weather warming up, Pinot Grigio is especially welcome and refreshing. Pop open a bottle and see if you don’t agree—for my money, it’s a rare instance of the middle of the road being juuust right.