History of Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio is a European grape that is most famous for growing in either Italy’s Lombardy region or France’s Alsace region. Although, the grape also grows in Germany, Washington, New Zealand, and of course, Australia. The word ‘Pinot’ is believed to have been associated with the grape because the clusters that the grapes grew in resembled a pine cone, and it gets its ‘surname’ Grigio from the Italian word for grey. The grape a long history, having been known since the Middle Ages and spreading from the Burgundy region in Europe.
The Pinot Grigio grape’s preparation is extremely varied. This has led to wine that can be either copper coloured, deep yellow, or light pink. With regard to the taste of Pinot Grigio, the taste will depend upon how the grape is prepared. While the French and Italians both have different words for the same grape (with Gris and Grigio both meaning grey), their techniques are incredibly different. The French Pinot Gris is picked when it is at its ripest, giving the wine a silkier, spicier, full-bodied, and more complex flavour. Whereas the Italian Pinot Grigio is picked early, allowing it to make a more refreshing, light-bodied, and zesty wine.
What Food Does Pinot Grigio Suit?
Pinot Grigio is a fantastic wine to pair with food. There are a wide variety of different dishes and snacks that pair extremely well with the refreshing, light-bodied, zesty flavours of Pinot Grigio.
The light, zesty nature of Pinot Grigio makes it ideal to pair with certain food. Firstly, seafood is a perfect match for Pinot Grigio. Pinot Grigio is ideal for seafood as the wine’s savoury elements do not overpower the delicate taste of the meat. Classic pairings include oysters, calamari, and lobster.
Pinot Grigio is also perfect for a rich, salty serving of antipasto. The acidity of the wine balances the salty flavours of artichoke, sundried tomato, and prosciutto perfectly. Further, if you’re looking to pair Pinot Grigio with some cheese, you should opt for soft and mild cheese. Brie and mozzarella are perfect cheeses for Pinot Grigio.
As Pinot Grigio is an Italian wine, it would come as no surprise that it pairs perfectly with pasta. Light pasta sauces work perfectly with Pinot Grigio, especially seafood pasta. Additionally, Pinot Grigio also pairs well with carbonara and other buttery pasta. You can also add Pinot Grigio to the sauce!
Another perfect match for Pinot Grigio is spicy food. While some believe that spicy food pairs best with rich red wine, Pinot Grigio can certainly match hot food as well. The light, refreshing nature of the wine helps to cool the mouth and bring out the more subtle flavours of the dish.
What Does Pinot Grigio Taste Like?
Australian Pinot Grigio uses both terms interchangeably. This allows Australian wine producers to pick their grapes in any manner and still label their wine as either Pinot Grigio or Gris. Therefore, Pinot Grigio is a very versatile wine in Australia. It has the potential to be either full or light-bodied and can also be made with oak to add more texture to the flavour.
However, official Pinot Grigio should be a light-bodied wine with a refreshing and crisp flavour. The wine can be very complex with hints of pear and apple.
Pinot Grigio in Australia
Pinot Grigio is quickly becoming one of Australia’s favourite wines. It has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years and became an ideal white wine, even rivalling the chardonnay. This article will give some background information about the wine, describing its history, its flavours, and its ideal food combinations.
Pinot Grigio is a staple of white wine, but it was not always this way. In 1832, the first Pinot Grigio grapes and vines were brought to Australia by James Busby, a British resident of New Zealand. Busby is perhaps most famous for being the father of the modern Australian wine industry, although he also helped draft the 1835 New Zealand Declaration of Independence. Busby earned great recognition when he first introduced renowned French, Italian, and Spanish grapes to Australia. One of the grapes Busby introduced was the Pinot Grigio. While it was introduced in the 19th Century, the grape did not attract huge popularity until the 1980s after the tireless work of Kathleen Quealy and Kevin McCarthy. Quealy and McCarthy identified the cold climate of the Victorian Mornington Peninsula as an ideal location to grow Pinot Grigio grapes for their T’Gallant Wines. Quealy’s wine skyrocketed in popularity and led to her being labelled as the Queen of Pinot Grigio, as well as being recently named ‘a legend of the vine’ by Wine Communicators of Australia.
Where is Pinot Grigio Grown?
After Busby’s introduction and Quealy’s innovation, the Pinot Grigio grape truly took off in Australia. Ideally, Pinot Grigio grows best in cooler, higher climates. Warmer climates cause the wine to ripen too early, resulting in a sweet and more full-bodied wine. While the Victorian climate is the centre of Australia’s Pinot Grigio industry, the grape is starting to take off nationwide. In South Australia, the cold climate in the Adelaide Hills is perfect for Pinot Grigio, and New South Wales’ Hunter Valley is also producing fantastic vines.