A writer for The Kansas City Star, Dave Eckert, has recently recommended his readers to enhance their wine sampling, tasting at least ten varieties of white wine that have a refreshing and crisp flavor. On top of that list of recommendations was the Pinot Grigio. Pinot Noir was also part of the recommendation list.

On the list, Pinot Noir has been listed as a white wine that has a crispy flavor. Pinot Grigio, however, has a made an appearance on another list as well. Miren Gonzalez of The Independent has given his recommendations of signature wines, and Pinot Grigio is among the list of suggestions.

Lastly, Pinot Noire and Pinot Grigio appeared on Ask Man in the Best single server wines for the summer. Pinot Grigio was again featured as a crispy flavored and refreshing white wine. In addition, Pinot Noir was featured as a wine blend. While different sites, magazines, and newspapers often feature Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio, no one ever does comparisons.

Pinot Noir vs. Pinot Grigio


The major differences between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir as are as follows:

  1. Pinot Noir has more tannins, and its acidic content is low. On the other hand, Pinot Grigio has more acidity and has bitter undertones.
  2. Pinot Noir has been around since ancient times and was consumed by the Romans. Pinot Grigio appeared some seven centuries ago in 1300 in Burgundy.
  3. Pinot Noir is extremely popular among wine enthusiasts worldwide. On the other hand, Pinot Grigio is much less popular worldwide.
  4. Pinot Noir is considered a red wine. Pinot Grigio has a golden color but is considered a white wine.
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What is meant by ‘Pinot’?

Some wine enthusiasts and drinkers might confuse the names of Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio and think that they are the same wine. However, the word Pinot originated from French word for pine cone, and Pinot grapes also have a pine cone-like shape.

Differences between Pinot Grapes

Differences between Pinot Grapes

There is a lot of variety among Pinot grapes, and most varieties are related to each other because they have a similar DNA. The most common are three main varieties of Pinot grapes, and they have an official registration. However, there are most likely more versions of Pinot grapes that have not been discovered yet.

The differences between Pinot grapes are minute, and only a professional can identify them. However, the three most popular varieties of Pinot grapes are as follows:

  1. Pinot Noir
  2. Pinot Gris, also known as Pinot Grigio
  3. Pinot Blanc

There have been instances where the differences between the grapes have been subtle, only small DNA mutations. Every current generation of Pinot grapes is directly linked to their ancestor Pinot plant.

No doubt Pinot grapes are considered a prestigious species of grapes; but they are just mutations of the original plant. However, these mutations have enabled winemakers to make wines that have different characteristics and flavors.

Historical Background

Pinot plants are an ancient species; some experts predict that they first came into existence in the first century. The information and data on the mutations is largely unknown, but Pinot plants have existed for a long time.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

This species of grape was first grown and consumed by the Romans. The Romans grew these grapes in many regions, and much of the grape’s popularity was linked to Catholicism. Pinot Noir was also used for sacraments and later on caught the attention of the public.

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 Pinot Noir was widely grown in Burgundy, as the King had a ban enforced on other grape varieties. However, the ban gave the farmers no other options as Burgundy had no trade routes, so they had to plant Pinot Noir, and with time the popularity of the grape increased. Once the Pinot Noir grape became popular, it was imported by America, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries.

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio

Some experts might say that Pinot Grigio originated in Italy, but like Pinot Noir, it probably came into existence in France. The Pinot Grigio wine was first made in Burgundy in 1300. Neighboring Switzerland also imported the Pinot Grigio grape. Later on, Pinot Grigio was imported by Italy and other European countries.

The popularity of the Pinot Grigio grape swelled once Italy started planting it, so some experts believe that the plant was first grown by the Italians. The most commonplace for Pinot Grigio grape in Italy were the Northeastern parts of the country.  


It is a well-known fact that Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio are different types of wine. The Pinot Noir is a red wine, whereas the Pinot Grigio is a White wine. However, there are more differences as both wines also have a unique taste and flavor.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a light wine; it contains different notes such as raspberry, red berries, cherries, and cranberries. As the wine ages, it develops accents of caramel and vanilla. In some variants of Pinot Noir wine, there are flavors such as tobacco, licorice, and clove.

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Pinot Grigio

The Pinot Grigio wine has a bit more zest to it and is stronger than Pinot Noir. This wine contains flavors such as lime, ripe nectarine, apple, and Meyer lemon. The flavor of this wine is mostly bitter; however, there are notes of honey in some French varieties of the wine. The Italian version of the wine contains almond accents, whereas the American version is fruitier.

Summing it up

When it comes to summing everything up, we have discussed all the necessary details that will help you distinguish between the Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio. However, there are several differences between the two varieties of wine, and wine drinkers or wine enthusiasts need to know them.

The basic understood fact is that Pinot Noir has a crispier and fruitier flavor and contains raspberry notes. The Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, is crispy but has a bitter, more lime-like flavor. These wines can also be paired with various food items such as meat, cheese, and seafood. And the longer Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio age, the richer they get.

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