Named for its grayish-hued skin, Pinot Grigio (or Pinot Gris) is the second most popular white varietal in the United States. Thought to be a mutation of the red Pinot Noir grape, Pinot Grigio is a staple of northern Italy’s wine regions, where its dry zestiness and refreshing acidity pair beautifully with seasonal pastas, cured meats, and salty cheeses.
In fact, Pinot Grigio is popular across the wine-growing world and, like its cousin Pinot Noir, it reflects the characteristics of its terroir in its flavor. German and Alsatian Pinot Gris is known for its steeliness, while New Zealand-grown Pinot Grigio can be very fruit-forward. No matter where it hails from, however, you’re sure to find a Pinot Grigio to suit your taste. To help, we’ve pulled together a list of the best we’ve tried in the past year — wines that received the highest scores in our wine reviews — and arranged them by score and price.
Here are 10 of the best Pinot Grigios you can buy right now, with reviews by VinePair tastings director Keith Beavers.
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Want to know what an extremely excellent Pinot Grigio tastes like in the sea of Pinots on the market? This is what this grape wants to taste and feel like. The structure of this wine is on point, with frothy acidity and calm, refreshing fruit notes that will remind you of lemons, wet rocks after a rainstorm, and skunky herbs. It is such a well-done wine, and is easy on the wallet. It’s also screw cap, so you can grab a bunch of them and have one hell of an afternoon summer lunch with friends. Get ready for fist bumps and high fives. Average price: $23
This is a great Pinot Grigio, over-delivering on your expectations of this style of wine. It has refreshing acidity on the palate, but is balanced by a slight depth and aromas of fresh sliced pear. It’s affordable, so I would buy a case or five of this wine, just to have on hand. Peeps will definitely be impressed. Average price: $9
For a cheap Pinot Grigio, you can’t go wrong here. It’s under a screw cap and is ready to pop for whatever you have going on. It is crisp with ripe fruit that will remind you of sliced apples. It’s a great bottle to buy a case of in the name of spontaneity. Average price: $10
This one is a bit different. It has a bit more depth and grip on the palate than your typical, under-$20 Pinot. It has a soft, honeyed nose and is mineral-driven, yet broad. This is the bottle you bring to raise eyebrows at your next get-together. Average price: $16
This wine is only available on the winery’s website, but man is this a good wine. For those of you that like clean and crisp whites like Pinot Grigio or Gavi di Gavi, this is stepping it up a notch. You get all the refreshing acidity and lift on the palate — with smells of apples and honey — but there is a nice, slight weight to the palate that really brings the balance home. Average price: $25
This is not the Pinot Grigio you’re used to — and that’s a good thing. This wine has a distinct sweetness of subtle vanilla. It has low acidity, so it rests on the palate before showing its broad mouthfeel. It’s very balanced and very different. Instead of a meal, I would hang out with this bottle and a legit and varied local meat-and- cheese plate. Average price: $31
This is an awesome wine, and it’s under $20. It’s refreshing with good acidity, but it doesn’t skimp on balanced fruit depth. Coaxing complexity out of this grape can be a challenge, but this screw-cap wine kills it. Average price: $16
I’m just gonna say it: This is the best deal on the shelf in the white wine section (phew, that felt good). You probably know this wine well, and may never read this review because you already know you dig it. For those new to this awesome $9 wine, it is clean, crisp, and balanced. It will jive with casual nibbles or a full-on picnic lunch (I’m thinking chicken salad and caprese). If you were to ever buy a case of Pinot Grigio, this should be it. Average price: $9
If you see this bottle, don’t think, just grab it. It’s one of the most balanced white wines on a supermarket shelf for the price. It’s clean and crisp, with a tart fruit core, like a ripe green apple slice. This is a bottle you crack open while enjoying some nibbles and good friends. It’ll become a game-night staple. Average price: $11
There are so many cheap Pinot Grigios out there, am I right? Here’s a gem in the pile. It has nice, balanced, fruity, and zippy acidity. At less than $10, it’s the bottle you buy a case or two of for whatever happens in the next few hours. Average price: $9