When it comes to white wine, there are two varieties that seem to always be at the forefront: chardonnay and pinot grigio. Here’s the scoop on chardonnay vs pinot grigio and the differences!
White wine grapes tend to have a lower alcohol content compared to a red wine with a higher alcohol content. Its important to remember wine should be stored in cooler climates.
The most popular wine region in the United States is California with Washington State being the second.
The warmer climates make it perfect for the perfect wine grape to grow. White grape is what makes the white color and sweet wine taste. Plus, more white wine grape variety can be found in the Alsace region.
Different types of wines are made depending on the variety of grape used, as well as the climate, soil, and method of production.
A fun fact about grapes is they are the most planted fruit all over North America and the world.
But what exactly is the difference between these two types of wine? If you are a wine lover read below to find the main differences between the two!
What is Chardonnay?
Known as the most popular white wine, chardonnay is a type of white wine that is made from chardonnay grapes.
This grape is believed to have originated in the Burgundy region of France and is now grown in many different regions around the world.
With a wine glass filled with this sweet wine your tastebuds will be tantalized with hints of oak, apple, pear, lemon, and vanilla.
Chardonnay wines are typically full-bodied with a creamy texture.
How is Chardonnay Made?
Chardonnay wines are made using the chardonnay grape. This grape is harvested and then pressed. The juice is then fermented in barrels, wich gives it the oak flavors.
During fermentation, yeast consumes the sugar in the grape juice and turns it into alcohol.
The lactic acid increases the stone fruit and aromas of the wine to create a malolactic fermentation and reduce the acidity of the wine.
Chardonnay wines are typically aged in barrels for several months or even years. This contributes to their distinct flavor profile.
What Goes With Chardonnay?
Chardonnay wines pair well with a variety of foods including a nutty and buttery flavor.
When it comes to seafood this wine pairs well with dishes based on crab, lobster, mussels, or shrimp.
Chicken and white meats are great options to pair with chardonnay or sauvignon blanc.
Chardonnay is also a great choice for vegetarian dishes, risotto, goat cheese, or dishes that feature mushrooms.
So our yourself a glass of chardonnay and enjoy your meal!
What is Pinot Grigio?
Pinot grigio is another type of white wine that is made from the pinot gris grape.
The pinot grigio grapes are believed to have originated in Northern Italy, and are now grown in many different regions around the world.
Characteristics of pinot grigio wines are typically light-bodied with a crisp, refreshing flavor and hints of green melon.
They often have notes of citrus, green apple, and minerals.
The green fruits are what make this one of the most popular wines. Another popular wine that uses green apple is Gouais Blanc.
Italian pinot grigio and French pinot gris are the same but the words are used interchangeably.
How is Pinot Grigio Made?
Pinot gris wine is made very similar to chardonnay.
Pinot grigio wines are made using the pinot gris grape. This grape is harvested and then pressed. In particular, these grapes have thin skins.
The juice from the best pinot grigio wines is then fermented in stainless steel tanks. During fermentation, yeast consumes the sugar in the grape juice and turns it into alcohol.
Pinot grigio wines typically aren’t aged for several months or even years. This contributes to their lighter flavor profile.
What Goes With Pinot Grigio?
Pinot grigio wines pair well with light and fresh flavors. This neutral and delicate wine goes with dishes like salads, chicken, seafood, and pasta.
It is best to avoid heavy sauces and instead use a cream sauce or vinaigrettes. This will allow the delicate flavors of the pinot grigio to shine through.
What is The Difference Between The Two?
The main difference between chardonnay and pinot grigio is their respective flavors and the taste of the wine.
Both of these wines come from different countries of origin and are made from different grapes.
Chardonnay is typically a full body to medium body wine with little acidity while pinot grigio is a light body wine with high acidity.
Chardonnay also has cream and butter undertones to make it a sweeter wine. While pinot grigio has citrus and green apple undertones.
With its fruity flavors, a glass of pinot grigio is an Italian style wine with green-skinned grapes and tropical fruit flavors.
The best pinot grigios wines are usually not aged in oak barrels, which contributes to their lighter flavor profile.
What Types of Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio Wines are There?
There are many different types of chardonnay and pinot grigio wines available on the market. Here are some of the most popular chardonnay and pinot grigio wines:
- Butter chardonnay: This type of chardonnay is characterized by its creamy texture and rich buttery taste.
- Oak chardonnay: It is characterized by its distinct oak flavor.
- Unoaked chardonnay: This type of chardonnay is not aged in oak barrels, which contributes to its lighter flavor profile.
- Dry pinot grigio: This type of pinot grigio is characterized by its crisp, dry flavor.
- Fruity pinot grigio: It is characterized by its fruity flavor.
- Sparkling pinot grigio: This type of pinot grigio is characterized by its effervescent quality.
- New Zealand pinot griego: Grown in New Zealand it has a unique flavor profile.
- Pinot blanc: This wine is a mutation of pinot noir from the Willamette Valley and is filled with citrus and floral flavors.
- Trentino-alto adige pinot grigio: Grown in the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy it is characterized by its minerality.
No matter what type of chardonnay or pinot grigio you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the distinct flavors of these two popular white wines.
How to Choose The Right Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio Wine
When choosing a chardonnay or pinot grigio wine, it is important to consider the food pairings that are a good choice for this glass of wine.
If you’re still unsure of which chardonnay or pinot grigio wine to choose, it is always a good idea to ask a knowledgeable staff member at your local wine shop for their recommendation.
How To Store Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio Wine
Both chardonnay and pinot grigio wine should be stored in a cool, dark place. Cool climates will help to preserve the delicate flavors of the wine.
Chardonnay wines can be stored for up to two years, while pinot grigio wines are best if consumed within one year of purchase.
When storing chardonnay or pinot grigio wine, it is important to keep the bottles horizontal so that the wine stays in contact with the cork.
This will help to prevent the wine from becoming oxidized.
What Are Dry Wines?
Dry wines are wines that have very little residual sugar. Residual sugar is the natural sugar that is found in grapes.
When wine is made, the yeast eats the grape sugar and turns it into alcohol.
The longer the fermentation process, the drier the wine will be. Wines with high levels of residual sugar can taste cloying or syrupy.
Dry whites are usually more preferred by wine drinkers as they are more food-friendly and have more complex flavor profiles.
For beginner wine drinkers, chardonnay or pinot grigio wine is a great place to start.
These are the most popular types of white wine with relatively light in flavor and easy to drink.
While there are key differences between the two, wine is a constant growing region to create the best production and taste.
These versatile wines can be enjoyed on their own or paired with a variety of food dishes. You can also find them in South Africa and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
Late harvest wines are when the grapes are left on the vine longer than usual. This typically doesn’t happen with Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio but with Riesling wine.
With so many different types of chardonnay and pinot grigio wines available on the market, there is sure to be a wine that will suit your needs.
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