When it comes to white wine, there are two grapes that tend to dominate the conversation: sauvignon blanc vs pinot grigio. And for good reason!
These two varietals offer a wide range of flavors and aromas that make them ideal for any number of occasions.
A fun fact about the grapes of wine is that they are the most planted fruit all over the world. In Northern Italy wine regions are located on the foothills of the Alps.
In North America, there are about 8,390 winners to enjoy drinkable white wine and relax!
But what exactly are the main differences between these two popular wines?
Let’s take a closer look at sauvignon blanc vs pinot grigio and see what sets them apart.
History of Wine
Before we get into the sauvignon blanc vs pinot grigio debate, it’s important to understand a bit about the history of wine.
Wine has been around for thousands of years and was first thought to have originated in the Middle East. From there, it spread to Europe where it quickly became a staple of daily life.
Wine grapes are believed to have first been domesticated in the regions that are now Georgia and Armenia.
These early wines were likely quite different from the wines we know today, but they laid the foundation for what would become one of the world’s most popular beverages.
There are many different types of wine options ranging from noble grapes, full body wines, and dry white wines.
But the most popular white wines tend to be sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio.
Sauvignon blanc is a dry white wine that originates from the Bordeaux region of France. It is typically high acidity, with a crisp, refreshing flavor.
Sauvignon blanc grapes are a french style green grape that gives floral aromas to this type of white wine.
These white grape varieties are specifically grown in the Loire Valley. The name comes from the French word of sauvage blan meaning wild white.
Compared to pinot grigio it’s not a sweet wine, but it is sweeter than the chardonnay grape.
With its grape variety this style of wine has higher acidity meaning that sauvignon blanc wines will have a tart, tangy, and sometimes even mouth-puckering taste.
The sauv blanc grape is one of the oldest wine grapes in the world.
Some sauvignon blanc wines can be aged, but most are meant to be consumed young. This wine pairs well with a variety of foods, making it a versatile choice for any occasion.
Sauvignon blanc wines are often described as having notes of citrus, green apple, and herbs.
What Food Does Sauvignon Blanc Go With?
Sauvignon blanc is a versatile wine that can be enjoyed with a variety of different foods. Its acidity makes it a great pairing for lighter fare, such as salads or fish.
But it can also hold its own against heartier dishes, like white meats or pork.
Having a sweeter side various styles of sauvignon blanc make for a great dessert wine.
Some sauvignon blanc wines will have more fruit forward flavors like tropical fruits while others lean more towards the herbaceous side.
This can make sauvignon blanc a great wine for people who are looking to branch out and explore different styles.
What Types of Sauvignon Blanc Should I Try?
There are many different styles of sauvignon blanc, so it’s important to find one that you enjoy.
New Zealand sauvignon blancs tend to be fruity and vibrant, while French sauvignon blancs are typically more subtle and minerally.
Cabernet sauvignon is one of the more popular red wines in South of France. This type of wine is filled with dark fruits and hints of green bell peppers.
It is known that this style of wine has become very popular in the United States. So much so that nonwine drinkers stop and take a sip.
This varietal wine is a great choice for wine lovers and novices alike.
For similar pairings, a crisp wine to enjoy is a buttery chardonnay or an unoaked chardonnay.
Pinot grigio is also a dry white wine, but it hails from the cooler climates of Italy’s Alto Adige region.
As a result, it is typically lighter in body and acidity than sauvignon blanc.
Also known as a dry wine, it has a crisp, clean flavor that makes it a popular choice for warm weather drinking.
The fruity flavors, low acidity, and cool climate make this everyday wine enjoyable and refreshing.
Pinot grigio is a white wine made from pinot gris grapes.
It is a pink-skinned grape that is related to the red wine pinot noir grape grown in the burgundy region of France.
Pinot blanc is a mutation of pinot noir and is also grown in the burgundy region.
The pink skins of the pinot gris grape give this wine its light grayish color, which is why it is also called “pinot grigio” in Italian.
This Italian style wine filled with pinot grigio grapes has flavors of citrus, hints of green melon, stone fruit, and mineral notes.
What Food Does Pinot Grigio Go With?
Like sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio is a versatile wine that can be enjoyed with a variety of different foods.
Its light body makes it a great pairing for shrimp, mussels, and crab. You can also consider a light pasta with a cream sauce or rice with herbs.
Top your dishes off with a little bit of fresh herbs, this flavorful profile pairs nicely with popular types of white wines.
What Types of Pinot Grigio Should I Try?
Again, there are many different styles of pinot grigio on the market. Italian pinot grigios tend to be light and refreshing, while those from California are typically richer and more full-bodied.
Aromatic pinot grigio wine is filled with passion fruit and floral notes. There is no bitter aftertaste as the wine is crisp and clean.
This white wine has a straw-yellow color with greenish reflections.
How Are They Made?
The production methods for sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio are relatively similar.
Both wines are made using the free-run juice of the grape, meaning that only the juice that flows naturally from the grape is used.
The grapes are then pressed gently to avoid extracting any bitter compounds from the skins.
For the fermentation process yeast is used to convert the sugar in the grape juice 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.
Sauvignon blanc is typically aged in stainless steel tanks, while pinot grigio may see some time in oak barrels. However, both wines are usually bottled young to preserve their fresh, vibrant flavors.
Late harvest wines are when the grapes are left on the vine longer than usual. This highlights the sugars in the grape and makes for a sweeter wine.
So, What’s The difference?
The key difference between these two wines is their flavor profile.
Sauvignon blanc is typically more fruity and herbaceous, while pinot grigio is more mineral and citrusy.
Additionally, sauvignon blanc is generally fuller-bodied than pinot grigio.
The intense aroma and wine tasting notes of sauvignon blanc can make it seem like a more complex wine, while pinot grigio is often seen as more approachable and easy-drinking.
The wine style of pinot makes it a great everyday wine to drink after a long day.
Pinot grigio drinkers often enjoy this relaxing drink with a light meal such as fish or chicken.
Finally, sauvignon blanc is typically made in a dry style, while pinot grigio can range from very dry to off-dry.
Health Benefits of Wine
In addition to their delicious flavor, white wine grape also offers a number of health benefits.
Moderate consumption of these wines has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.
For acid reflex chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and grenache are recommended, but there is no guarantee it will help as every individual is different.
Additionally, wine can help to improve cognitive function and protect against memory decline.
Which One Should You Choose?
It really depends on your personal preference.
If you’re looking for a refreshing, fruit-forward wine, sauvignon blanc is a great option. If you prefer a lighter wine with subtle flavors, pinot grigio is a good choice.
These wines can be enjoyed with food pairings or enjoyed on there own. You can also find them in South Africa and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
If you are looking for a wine that has white peach notes sweet Rieslings and Chardonnay wines from California are great choices.
No matter which one you choose, you can’t go wrong with either sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio.
They’re both delicious, versatile wines that are sure to please any crowd. So, grab a bottle (or two) and enjoy!
Get the scoop on more like this: