Same same, but different.
There’s no doubt that your palate changes as you get older. I recently read an article in the Guardian that said after we grow out of our teenage drinking phase -i.e binging on sugary overloaded cruisers and shots of vodka and tequila- we gain an appreciation for more robust flavours, such as wine.
On my first trip to France with my boyf, I spent a lot of time with his family, sharing many meals together. The French eat to enjoy food, rather than because they have to, so each dish’s flavour is unique and is complemented by a matching wine.
The first few times I tried to drink wine prior to the trip, I found it quite overwhelming (and by overwhelming, I mean scrunch my face and fight off a semi-compulsive body shake) so you can imagine how comfortable I felt being offered glass after glass of different wines. Trying to make a
good great impression, I focused on small sips just after a mouthful of food and this actually taught me about appreciating the different flavours the wine brought out in the food.
So obviously in the 18 months since this trip, I’ve become a wine connoisseur… NOT!
I think as a junior wine drinker, you usually start off with something light, like sauvignon blanc, and then you evolve from there. I’ve moved on from a sav blanc and now love a good glass of Pinot Gris, no Pinot Grigio, no, wait, what’s the difference?
I’m glad you asked!
@Vinteloper explains it perfectly: Same grape, different taste- That’s the short simple answer.
Pinot Gris has a richer and full-bodied flavour and known to be more viscous in texture and is native to France’s Alsace region. Whereas Pinot Grigio, originating from Italy’s North-East region, it is more fruity, crisp and lighter-bodied.
The difference in taste is a direct result of climate, soil, and harvesting. The French winemakers are relaxed and allow the grapes to soak up a little more sunshine, whereas the Italians are quick to harvest before the grape reaches its peak ripeness.
Now most importantly, what should you pair them with?
Pinot Grigio is a perfect match for light and fresh seafood because the savoury flavours in the wine won’t take away from the meal’s intricate flavours. It also pairs with anything salty or rich in flavour, think an antipasto spread, or with soft cheeses on the mild side.
I’ve thought for a while that anything spicy should be paired with a Riesling but I recently learned that the light aromatics and refreshing acidity of a Pinot Grigio, not only offers temporary relief from the heat but also brings another dimension of flavour out of the dish.
Similar to its Italian cousin, Pinot Gris is a delight paired seafood but also extends nicely with white meats, soft cheese like ricotta, mozzarella and camembert and fresh fruit and veggies like green melon, cucumber, and garlic.
The only way to really find out is to pour a glass of each and see for yourself!