Greig Santos-Buch

The Best Pinot Grigio Food Pairings

Best Pinot Grigio Pairing - Oysters | Winetraveler.com
Florida Oyster Rockefeller’s sit ready to be devoured alongside a crisp Pinot Grigio. Get the recipe from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Pinot Grigio is one the most abundantly drunken white wines in the world.  It’s prized for its light, dry, moderately acidic and crisp body with notes of tree, citrus and tropical fruit. Additionally, Pinot Grigio is often has refreshing and elevated acidity, allowing the wine to pair well with and accentuate flavors best present in fish and shellfish.

While Old World Pinot Grigio tends to be more citrus & stone fruit dominant (think Northern Italy), New World Pinot Grigio (think San Joaquin Valley) tends to pack more tropical, stone & tree fruit flavors.  But it’s not just terroir related factors that play a role in a Pinot’s flavor.  Ripeness is actually a more crucial determinant.  Grapes that are underripe will yield more citrus, while ripe to overripe grapes yield more tropical and tree fruit flavors.

Pairing Pinot Grigio with Sushi | Winetraveler.com
How epic does this sushi cake look? Get the recipe here and grab a bottle of Pinot!

Best Pinot Grigio Pairings & Recipes

Pairing Fish with Pinot Grigio

My favorite thing to eat with Pinot Grigio is sushi, but that’s for good reason.  It goes well with food items that have a soft and crisp consistency.  Nothing too heavy.  If raw fish isn’t your thing, there are plenty of great options.  White fish works best.  Grilled Chilean sea-bass ranks high, followed closely by pan-seared grouper, snapper, mahimahi, red fish, tilapia and flounder.  Try to find the freshest sea food you can.  Every time I stop by South Florida I’ll stop by the docks and buy a few filets from the charter boats around sunset.  Snag a bottle of Pinot Grigio on your way home and you’ve got it made.

Pairing Pinot Grigio Wine with Seafood | Winetraveler.com
Seared scallops garnished in a salsa verde sauce. Check out this recipe from Serious Eats.

If you’re a fan of shell fish, oysters, both raw or fried, and Grilled scallops are your two best bets.  Try utilizing ginger, oregano, thyme, cracked white and black pepper, parsley and garlic as you prepare your dishes.  Don’t forget the lemon & lime!  Better yet, marinate your fish with a little bit of Pinot as well.

Our Favorite Fish & Shellfish Recipes for Pinot Grigio Pairings 

Pairing Chicken with Pinot Grigio

Chicken is the best backup food to pair with Pinot Grigio.  I may be a little bias — I love the ocean.  But regardless, chicken is a great choice because of its texture and soft flavor.  It’s light on the palate, and if marinated with either lemon and or white wine, it becomes a remarkable pairing.  Lighter cream based sauces and lemon also make for an ideal summer meal with a crisp white.  See below for our favorite Pinot Grigio chicken pairings & recipes.

Cheese & Pinot Grigio

Keep thinking soft and mild. Cow’s milk is about as mild as you can get. It helps to bring out some of the sweeter flavors in Pinot Grigio (Brie, Gruyere, Mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano). The next step up is sheep milk. I’ve found that sheep’s milk tends to help accentuate the more earthy and mineral tones of a Pinot (Sheep’s milk Gouda, Roquefort, Manchego, Fleur du Marquis, Etorki).

Best Pinot Grigio Food and Wine Pairings to Try | Winetraveler.com
Image and recipe courtesy AverageBetty.com.

Pinot Grigio Pairing Appetizer Ideas

Looking for a few simplistic and fresh appetizers to pair with a glass of Pinot Grigio?  Check out some of our favorites below.

Do you have a favorite food pairing with Pinot Grigio?  Share your unique ideas with the community below.  We’d love to try them ourselves!


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Greig Santos-Buch
Founder at Winetraveler.com
Greig Santos-Buch is the Founder of Winetraveler.com. He is currently a WSET 2, Distinction Sommelier and owns and operates several brands focusing on the wine and travel verticals, including Sommelier Q&A and Winederlusting.com.

Greig meets with producers, wine innovators and travel entrepreneurs around the world, learning to help improve the wine tourism experience. In his spare time, you can find him trying something new, probably outside.
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