Ah Pinot Grigio, a zesty white wine that is as refreshing as a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer’s day. The second most popular white wine in America, Pinot Grigio (aka Pinot Gris) is a dry white wine that has a punchy acidity with flavors of lemons, limes, green apples and honeysuckle.
Looking for a bottle to drink? Check out our regularly updated list of the best Pinot Grigio bottles!
While most believe Pinot Grigio originated in Italy, it was actually born, like many of the most popular grapes of the world, in France, where it is known as Pinot Gris. Thought to be a mutation of the red grape Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris’ skins are not green like other white grapes, but instead have a greyish blue hue, which is what gives them their name.
The wine was born in Burgundy but found its way to Switzerland in the 1300s, where it was considered a favorite of the Emperor. From here the grape made its way to northern Italy, and the real story of Pinot Grigio was born.
In Italy, Pinot Gris became Pinot Grigio and the wine found wide success in the regions of Northeastern Italy: Lombardy, the Veneto, Friuli, Trentino and Alto Adige. From its footing in northern Italy, the wine grew to become the most popular white wine in all of Italy, and then the most popular imported white wine in the U.S.
Pinot Grigio has its haters among wine snobs, who claim the wine is too “simple” and “uninteresting,” but this mostly stems from the fact that because Pinot Grigio is so popular, its popularity has resulted in some very bad mass produced bottles which have given the wine a bad name. One of the best ways to ensure you drink delicious and interesting Pinot Grigio is to simply avoid the budget bottles and the wines being sold under huge mass marketing campaigns.