When you’re in the mood for a chilled glass of dry white wine, Pinot grigio and Sauvignon blanc are amazing options. They both pair well with light dishes and are a refreshing aperitif in warm weather. Though they’re both dry and crisp and feature strong citrus notes, their flavors, aroma, body, and characteristics are quite different.
Originating from Italy, Pinot grigio is made from the grape of the same name. It’s also produced in 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 feels heavier in the mouth. It also has a sweeter, more perfume-like aroma. This grape varietal grows in France, too, where the wine is known as Pinot gris; it has a similar taste profile to Pinot grigio with a slightly fuller body. Pair Pinot grigio with light fish, green salads, and goat cheese.
Sauvignon blanc is made from the grape of the same name originating from Bordeaux. It tends to be more acidic than Pinot grigio and has a lighter body. The flavors vary depending on where it’s produced, but it’s generally characterized with an acidic taste and a grassy, green pepper, and herb-like aroma. Instead of lemon, Sauvignon blanc has notes of lime and grapefruit and is also infused with hints of melon and passion fruit. It pairs well with cream soups, grilled chicken, and scallops.