Updated July 19th 2023
Pinot Grigio food pairing can be tricky. This light and fresh wine can be made in dry, semi-dry and sweet styles, which affects which foods it can pair with. Pinot Grigio pairs well with many different dishes, especially fish and pasta dishes. In this food paring guide you will learn about Pinot Grigio and how to pair it with food.
Pinot Grigio is a light and crisp white wine that pairs excellently with a variety of foods. The Pinot Grigio grape is also known as Pinot Gris, but there are big differences between the styles. Pinot Grigio is characterized by its minerality and fruity flavours of lime, pear and peach. This refreshing wine is great as an aperitif, with snacks, sushi and with many lighter dishes.
Pinot Grigio is a style of wine made from the grape Pinot Gris, a pink mutation of the popular red grape Pinot Noir. Its skin is slightly grey, hence the name "Gris", which means grey in French. The Pinot Grigio style is characterized by its light body, crisp minerality and aromas of pear and citrus. This style is originally from Italy, but it is also made in Germany, the US and Australia. Pinot Grigio is usually made in dry or off-dry styles.
Pinot Grigio has become increasingly popular. It is now produced in many countries and enjoyed by consumers all over the world. Its fresh, light and refreshing style makes it a perfect summer wine. Old World Pinot Grigio from Italy tends to be more citrusy and have aromas of stone fruit compared to the New World Pinot Grigio, which tends to have more tropical flavours.
Pinot Grigio is also considered fairly healthy, with low alcohol and less calories than many other white wines. Pinot Grigio can be made in different sweetness levels.
Pinot Grigio is very different from the richer Pinot Gris from Alsace in northeast France.
Tips! If you want to find out which is the best food for Pinot Gris, we recommend our wine guide Pinot Gris Food Pairing.
When talking about Pinot Grigio, most people refer to the dry style of this wine, with crisp acidity and minerality. This fresh wine pairs well with many different types of food thanks to its high acidity and hint of sweetness. Pinot Grigio is a great match for salty snacks and foods, as well as lighter food dishes. Off-dry Pinot Grigio can be matched with stronger flavours and spices, such as Asian cuisine. In order to find the best food to pair with your bottle of Pinot Grigio, you need to know if it is a dry, off-dry or a sweet wine.
In order to find the best food pairing for Pinot Grigio, you need to consider the following characteristics of the wine:
Pinot Grigio should always be served cold because it enhances the flavours of the wine. The ideal serving temperature for Pinot Grigio is 7-10°C (45-48°F).
The crisp and fresh profile of a dry Pinot Grigio makes it a perfect paring with many seafood dishes. Shrimps, clams, crab, mussels, scallops… Basically any type of seafood will pair well with Pinot Grigio. Light seafood salads with prawns or deep fried shrimps match with a glass of dry Pinot Grigio. The steely minerality in the wine also pairs excellent with salty oysters.
Tips! If you are having oysters with spicy sauces, try an off-dry style. The sweetness in the wine will balance the spiciness in the sauce.
Is Pinot Grigio good with fish? Yes, it definitely is. Especially a dry Pinot Grigio with fried or deep-fried fish. The acidity in the wine will balance the fat in the fish with. Try pairing a Pinot Grigio with fish and chips, fish tacos or something similar and you will be surprised how well it goes together.
Tips! Try a Pinot Grigio from the New World, such as USA or Australia, if you want to match the tropical flavors with the condiments in the fish taco.
A dry or off-dry Pinot Grigio is also a great pairing with sushi. The minerality and acidity in the wine will balance the fat and salt in the fish. This off-dry style's hint of sweetness will also match the slightly sweet sushi rice.
What cheese goes best with Pinot Grigio? In fact, Pinot Grigio pairs well with many different types of cheeses. A crisp, mineral and light-bodied white like Pinot Grigio goes well with soft and creamy cheeses like Chèvre, Brie and Camembert. A salty cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano is also a good pairing with Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Grigio is a very cheese-friendly wine that also pairs well with delicate fresh and slightly salty cheeses such as Feta, Mozzarella and Ricotta. This type of mild flavoured cheeses is not aged and needs to be paired with delicate wines like Pinot Grigio in order not to be overwhelmed. If you want to know more about different types of cheese and their perfect wine pairings, you can read about it in our wine and cheese guide.
Thanks to its high acidity and minerality, Pinot Grigio is a great wine for salty snacks, such as salty crackers, salty potato chips and oysters. Antipasti, especially those with seafood, pair well with Pinot Grigio. Many people prefer a dry Pinot Grigio as an aperitif, as it is very easy to drink thanks to its low alcohol levels and fresh aromas.
The classic food pairings with Pinot Grigio usually include seafood or vegetables, but a light chicken dish can also be a good match. Due to its texture and mild flavour, chicken is usually a good pairing with Pinot Grigio, but it depends on the seasonings of the chicken.
Tips! Chicken with either lemon, cream or white wine will pair well with a glass of cold Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Grigio is an excellent choice for many vegetarian dishes. The dry style pairs well with the following dishes:
If you are having a vegetarian curry or any other spicy dish, try an off-dry style. The sweetness in the wine will balance the heat from the spices. To learn more about the best wine for vegetarian dishes, we recommend our wine guide for vegetarian food.
There are many great pasta dishes to match with your Pinot Grigio. Light pasta dishes with seafood are usually the best pairing. Clams, shrimps or mussels in cream, olive oil or tomato sauce will be even more delicious together with a glass of Pinot Grigio.
An off-dry (semi-sweet) style of Pinot Grigio will pair very well with spicy dishes. Try a glass of slightly sweet Pinot Grigio next time you are having Thai, Indian or Mexican food. A fresh white wine with a little bit of sweetness like an off-dry Pinot Grigio or Riesling will be a perfect pairing to balance the heat in the food. Don’t forget to serve the wine cold!
You can read more about wine with spicy food in our guide how to choose the best wine for spicy food.
The sweet style of Pinot Grigio can be good with lighter desserts such as lemon pie, crème brulée or berry desserts with mascarpone or ricotta.
If you want to learn more about matching wine and desserts, check our guide about Wine and Dessert Pairings.
Tips! Stay away from heavy chocolate desserts when you are drinking Pinot Grigio.
What food goes with dry Pinot Grigio? Some of the best pairings for this popular style include:
The list of good food pairings with this refreshing wine is long. It is also a great wine to drink by itself as an aperitif.
What food goes well with off-dry Pinot Grigio? This style also pairs with many, many dishes, including:
Basically any light and spicy dish will pair well with a semi-dry Pinot Grigio. New World styles usually have more tropical flavours, which makes them an excellent pairing with dishes containing fruits or other some spicy condiments.
What food goes well with sweet Pinot Grigio? Light desserts with lemon flavours, berries and mascarpone cheese will be a perfect pairing for your sweet Pinot Grigio.