Pinot Grigio vs Sauvignon Blanc – What’s the Difference?

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White wine is among the most aesthetic pleasures of life. You can be cooking your food and want to add some extra crisp flavor to your dish, or perhaps you are having dinner with your significant other and want to make it a little more romantic, or maybe you want to sit back and relax after a long day at work, white wine I something that you can use in all of these cases, and it is bound to solve all of these problems, and many others. 

But selecting the right type of white wine is difficult; you never know which one is the right fit for you as there are a lot of different white ones available in the market. And if you are having guests over, picking the wrong white vine can leave a bad impression on your guests, and nobody wants to hear a rant about which type of vine you should be drinking. But two types of white vines stand out among all the others: Pinto Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. 

Learning about the differences between these two will help you take your understanding of wine to the next level, and the next time everyone is talking about which white vine is superior, you can contribute to the conversation constructively.

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is fermented in Italian style worldwide today, but initially, it was a French wine. In fact, the initial name of this drink was pinot Gris, which is the fresh translation of Pinot Grigio, the Italian name for the drink. Most people use these two names interchangeably, which is not wrong, as both of the drinks have almost no differences because they use the same types of grapes.

Pinot Grigio can be found in wineries and supermarkets all across the globe, specifically in the US, Australia, Italy, and North America. The flavor and dryness can vary according to the production process. Pinot Grigio is made from a single type of grape, which makes it a Varietal Wine. 

The Variety of grapes used is called Pinot Gris, which is often grown in cold climates, where they grow up to have a crisp texture and sweet flavor. Pinot Grigio is usually sweet, and most of its flavor and freshness is retained during the ageing process; This is because Pinot Grigio is usually aged in a Stainless steel container, rather than one made from oak.

Pinot Grigio doesn’t have any color, which can confuse amateur wine enthusiasts because usually, it’s the color that indicates the strength of a wine. The color is usually given by the oak wood used in the ageing process. Pinot Grigio is usually not sour; this is because most winemakers like to remove the acidic taste by using a process named Malolactic Fermentation.

This simple process ensures that all the malic acid (which is a lot tarter) is converted into lighter acid with a milder taste, for instance, lactic acid. This process also intensifies the flavor of the wine and improves its mouth feel. 

Sauvignon Blanc

Blanc is made from one of the most popular types of grapes, which is believed to have its origin in France. Although we know about the country, the exact area and city remain unknown. The term Sauvignon Blanc translates to wild white, which is a reference to its Variety found in the western part of France.

This grape is produced all across the globe, and it still has a consistent rich flavor and crisp texture, which is desirable in a grape used for making wine. This makes Sauvignon Blanc one of the most popular types of white wine in the world. It was also the first one to come in a bottle with a screw cork. The wine usually has a herbaceous and acidic flavor; however, the flavor usually varies according to the area in which the grapes are grown and the quality of production. 

You can detect plenty of flavors in a glass of Blanc, and these include Bell pepper, gooseberry, green apple, and cut grass. The grapes for Sauvignon Blanc are grown in all parts of the world, but New Zealand, California, Australia, and France are among the top producers of this grape. Blanc is usually dryer than Pinot Grigio, and it also has increased forward notes as well as aromatics.

For this reason, you should aim to serve Blanc with lighter foods, like salad or fish. If you produce Blanc from ripe grapes, you’ll find notes of peach, while the Blanc made from unripe grapes have notes of citrus and lime. Almost all of the Blanc produced in the world is made in the same way, unlike Pinot Grigio, which is produced in different ways according to the region; This gives Blanc stability and consistency of taste that Pinot Grigio lacks.

Blanc has a different flavor depending on the temperature at which it is grown. Both warm and cold weather supports the growth of Blanc, but under warmer conditions, you’ll get Blanc with more flowery and fruity notes. On the other hand, high temperatures produce wine with less acid and more tropical notes. But in warmer conditions, the grapes used are almost always over-ripe, giving the wine a fruity flavor but lessening its aroma. 

Like Pinot Grigio, Blanc is also aged in stainless-steel containers, which is why it is also colorless. But some varieties of Blanc have a brownish or golden color; this depends on the duration of contact between the grape juice and skin. 

So What’s the Difference Between Pinot Grigio and Blanc?

To make things easier for you to understand, here is a summary of the differences between the two white wines. 

  • Blanc usually has a more acidic, citric, and herbaceous aroma, while Pinot Grigio usually has a sweeter aroma, and it is more aromatic, generally as well. 
  • Blanc is usually drier than Pinot Grigio, but the dryness can vary according to its conditions during growth and fermentation.
  • Blanc is more acidic and light-bodied, while Pinot Grigio is sweeter and has more residual sugar.