The Difference Between Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc

By Candi Canncel

When you're in the mood for a chilled glass of a dry white wine, options include pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc. They both pair well with light dishes and make a refreshing aperitif in warm weather. Though they both feature strong citrus notes, and are dry and crisp, their flavors, aroma, body, and characteristics are quite different.

Wine glass and place settings
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Sauvignon blanc can feature creamy vanilla notes if aged in oak barrels.

Pinot Grigio

Originating in Italy, pinot grigio is made from the grape of the same name. It's also produced Romania, the United States and Canada. Characterized by a tart, green apple taste, it features lemon undertones and the aromatic flavors of peach and nectarine. Pinot grigio has a fuller body than Sauvignon blanc and will feel heavier in the mouth. It also has a sweeter, more perfume-like aroma. This grape varietal is also grown in France, where the wine is known as pinot gris. It will have a similar taste profile to pinot grigio with a slightly fuller body. Pair Pinot Grigio with light fleshed fish, green salads and goat cheese.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignan blanc's quite a crisp white wine made from the grape of the same name originating in Bordeaux. It tends to be more acidic than pinot grigio and has a lighter body. It will have different flavors depending on where it's produced but is generally characterized as having an acidic taste with a grassy, green pepper, and herb-like aroma. Like pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc also features citrus notes but instead of lemon, it will have notes of lime and grapefruit. It is also infused with the flavors of melon and passion fruit. It pairs well with cream soups, grilled chicken and scallops dishes.