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Pinot Gris/Grigio Wine and Food Matching – Perfect Pairing

It’s the grape with two names (actually many more like grauburgunder but we’ll keep it simple) and it’s popularity hasn’t waned yet. Part of the appeal of Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio is that is such an easy and gentle pairing with lots of foods. Pinot Gris is a lot more versatile than most might imagine. To really work on that perfect food pairing, you will need to know exactly what style you have in front of you. We’ve broken down five of the main styles with examples and great pairing ideas below.

Italian Pinot Grigio

There are a range of styles in Italy these days but we’re thinking of the classic, popular Pinot Grigio that made a name for itself. Light, crisp and fruit forward, Pinot Grigio is the perfect aperitif wine, with salty snacks and olives, shellfish and oysters. Our pick is the Santa Margherita from Alto Adige, which has been consistently excellent for years.

wine oysters

Pinot Grigio paired with oysters

New Zealand Pinot Gris

With great pear, spice and honeyed notes, New Zealand has proven that they can do more than one white grape really well. The rich and often fuller bodied style of Pinot Gris from Aotearoa is a great match with salmon, as well as a range of Thai foods, and even sweetly roasted pork. There are a host of wonderful Pinot Gris from New Zealand but Neudorf have been doing it better for longer than most.

Mornington Peninsula Pinot Grigio

Despite pioneering the grape in the Australian wine industry and now the third most common planting, the producers of the Mornington Peninsula can’t seem to agree on whether to call it Gris or Grigio. Sometimes it’s a matter of style or marketing, but overall they tend to be light to medium-bodied, very fresh and with lots of complexity. Mornington Pinot Gris is amazing with a bucket of chilli prawns, tarte tatin, Waldorf salad and other blue cheese dishes, or even a chicken Korma curry. Our favourite is from Quealy, either the Tussi Mussi Pinot Gris or the Mornington Peninsula Pinot Grigio, depending on our mood.

quealy pinot gris

Quealy Pinot Gris is hard to beat

Alsace Pinot Gris

Alsace is the home of Pinot Gris – richer, sweeter and more ageworthy wines from the grape. Classic pairings include local Alsation foods like chestnuts, aged cheeses, foie gras and terrine. With a medium to full body and a touch of sugar, these wines can often can stand up to the spice of Asian and Indian cuisine. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but we might choose one from Josmeyer or Mader.

Goriziano Hills Pinot Grigio

The pioneering skin contact ‘orange’ wines made from Pinot Gris are a food-matching multitool. Wineries like Gravner and Radikon have influenced winemakers over the world into working tannin and oxygen with white and pink grapes to make orange wines. These structured and complex wines stand up to strong umami and savoury flavours while being refreshing, making them perfect with all kinds of Japanese cuisine, for starters. The Oslavje Pinot Grigio blend is our pick.

radikon orange

The disctinctive orange hue of pinot grigio fermented with skin contact

For more, read some other ideas: Sangiovese Food and Wine Pairing, and Cabernet Sauvignon Food and Wine Pairing.

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Kieran Clarkin
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