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Pinot Grigio has become massively popular in recent years and is rivalling Chardonnay for the role of number one white grape. Traditionally grown in Italy, this light and neutral style wine is increasingly being copied in many New World regions.
Pinot Grigio is what the Italians call the grape variety Pinot Gris. In Italy, Pinot Grigio is made into clean, crisp, easy drinking dry wines. Pinot Gris from Alsace in the mountainous corner of Eastern France however, develops a rich but clean honeyed character, which can age really well. If you like the clean and crisp style of Pinot Grigio but fancy something a little different, you might also like the taste of Cortese or an unoaked Chardonnay. Alternatively try a German Gewurztraminer or Riesling if you like your Pinots in the Alsace style.
Dry Italian Pinot Grigio makes a great aperitif. It is light, crisp and refreshing, which makes it an ideal choice to greet your guests with, or before you serve dinner. It also goes very well with light pasta dishes, seafood or with cheese and crackers. The heavier styles of Alsace Pinot Gris work very well with spicy food or light Indian bites such as samosas.
Because Pinot Grigio is light bodied, it is a good choice for drinking on a hot summer's day, or as a great "crowd pleaser" for barbecues or parties.
Pinot Grigio doesn't just make white wine. Pink Pinot Grigio is equally as popular and is made by pressing the grapes lightly and leaving the juice in contact with the skins, so that the natural pink colour runs into the juice. It also makes very good bubbly!