Updated July 19th 2023
Pinot Gris is an excellent food wine with good acidity and pleasant aromas of citrus and honey. This aromatic white wine pairs well with many different dishes, especially spicy food and fish dishes. This food pairing guide will help you find the best food for Pinot Gris.
Pinot Gris is the same grape as Pinot Grigio, but there are big differences between the styles. While Pinot Grigio is known for its light and refreshing style, Pinot Gris is a rich wine with a slightly oily texture and characteristic honey flavours. This rich white can be made in both dry and sweet styles. In order to find the best food for your bottle of Pinot Gris, you need to be aware of the difference and not confuse it with the lighter Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Gris is a white wine grape originally from Burgundy, in France. It gives aromatic white wines with a touch of sweetness. The name "Pinot Gris" comes from the French words for "Pine" and "Grey", and refers to the pinecone shaped grape clusters on the vines, as well as the dusty grey/pink color of the grapes' skin. Wines made of Pinot Gris often have deep yellow or golden color.
The grape is also called Pinot Grigio and Grauburgunder depending on where it is grown. Pinot Gris usually refers to the wine style made in Alsace, in France.
Pinot Gris is sometimes used in blends, but it is mostly made as a single varietal. The aromas and the style vary depending on where the wine is made, but Pinot Gris wines usually have notes of stonefruit, apple, honey and sweet spices. The grape has medium-high acidity and a natural sweetness. Pinot Gris wines are usually made in three different sweetness levels: dry, off-dry and sweet.
In order to find the best food for your bottle of Pinot Gris, you need to understand the wine. First of all, when talking about Pinot Gris it is usually in reference to the style made in the Alsace region in northeastern France. This style is very different from the Pinot Grigio style made in Italy, even if it is the same grape variety. This grape is a pink mutation of the popular red grape Pinot Noir, and its skin is slightly grey.
Tips! If you want to know the best food for Pinot Grigio, we recommend you check our Pinot Grigio Food Pairing guide.
Pinot Gris is an aromatic and versatile grape that pairs perfectly with many different dishes. With its high acidity, citrus flavours and hints of sweetness, Pinot Gris pairs perfectly with a wide range of foods, including spicy dishes.
When paring Pinot Gris with food, it is important to think about the following characteristics of the wine:
Pinot Gris should always be served fresh because it enhances the flavours of the wine. The ideal serving temperature for Pinot Gris is 9-13°C (48-55°F).
What is the best food pairing with Pinot Gris from Alsace? We would argue that spicy food is the best choice, especially with the off-dry style. The high acidity and the sweet aromas in the wine balances the heat from the food. The wine's characteristic honey aromas will also go well with many typical Chinese, Indian and Mexican dishes.
Cheese and Pinot Gris is an excellent combination - you just need to pick the right cheese! A dry or off-dry Pinot Gris is an aromatic wine with a hint of sweetness. This type of wine pairs very well with pungent washed-rind cheeses like Morbier, Raclette, Taleggio, Munster and Livarot. Strong cheeses like this need a wine with a strong personality - like Pinot Gris!
Tips! In our wine and cheese guide you can read more about wine and cheese pairing.
The rich flavour of a dry medium-bodied Pinot Gris makes it an excellent paring with fish dishes with lots of flavour. Pair it with grilled fish with lemon, fish curry, or oysters with spicy sauce. Any fish or seafood dish with spicy condiments will pair well with a Pinot Gris from Alsace.
Pinot Gris from Alsace is usually medium-bodied, which pairs very well with lighter chicken dishes. Asian dishes with chicken, especially sweet and sour, will be great together with Pinot Gris. If the wine is aged, the style is even more bold, which makes it a good pairing with duck.
Tips! Try a honey-glazed poultry with a glass of Pinot Gris from Alsace and you will be surprised how great it matches!
Pinot Gris is also a good paring with many vegetarian foods, especially those that are a bit heavier or more flavorful. Vegetarian curries and roasted vegetables will pair well with a glass of Pinot Gris.
Due to its high acidity and aromas of honey and lemon, Pinot Gris is a great wine for finger foods and snacks. Pair it with salty crackers, spicy appetizers or foie gras.
A bottle of off-dry or sweet Pinot Gris is a good wine paring with desserts. The pleasant aromas of honey and spice will pair well with apple pie or nutty cakes. If you want to learn more about matching wine and desserts, check our guide about Wine and Dessert Pairings.