Find your new favourite... Pinot Grigio Alternatives
We've put together a few of our favourite alternatives to Italian Pinot Grigio, there's a focus on other Italian wines we think you'd enjoy but there are also wines from romania, Crete and France featured too. A great way to broaden your horizon's without taking a complete stab in the dark, the idea being that if you like crisp and dry whites with plenty of those green apple and lemon citrus characters you'll get along with the wines in this case.
We'll start off with the Pinot Grigio, only we're going to recommend you take a trip east of Veneto and travel to Romania. Brit Phillip Cox has been producing a number of international and indigenous Romanian varieties here for a number of years now and his Pinot Grigio is quite simply, fantastic. Full of honeydew melon, green apples and grapefruit citrus this is the definition of a crowd pleasing white wine. Perfect as an aperitif or with lighter seafood dishes and canapes.
Diamantakis was founded back in 2007 by family members Ioannis, Michalis and Zacharias who between them manage the viticulture and winemaking. Assyrtiko is one of the most popular Greek varieties, originally from Santorini but increasingly planted on Crete where the clay/limestone soils make the perfect partner for Assyrtiko vines. Full of fresh green apple, lemon citrus and clean minerality you can see the similarities with Pinot Grigio, where it differs slightly is that this has had around 3 months ageing on the fine lees to add a little more body and texture and the resulting wine is a touch fuller in body. this is a great wine to pair with food, oysters are a favourite or roasted cod loin with lemon, tomatoes, potatoes and oregano is a winner.
Anti establishment white from Rioja but declassified. These guys attempted to get a loan from the banks when they were first getting into winemaking but after being knocked back they managed to find a way themselves and so the pig stuffing his face on the label is a shoutout to those bankers. the wine itself is fantastic, crunchy green apples, vibrant citrus fruit and floral aromas jump out of the glass with a crisp, dry texture and refreshing acidity.
Picpoul de Pinet has been on the rise for a number of years and I think one of the key reasons is it's similarity to Pinot Grigio, it almost feels like a natural progression in a lot of ways. It' has a similar fruit profile to the Italian PG, with lots of lemon citrus and fresh green apple then adds in some white peach and nectarine. It's crisp and dry, sometimes with a hint of minerality but often Picpoul will have a little more body, a slightly rounder texture and just give that little bit more than an Italian Pinot. It's a fantastic partner to seafood, particularly oysters but goes just as well with a classic carbonara.
Piedmonte is home to some of Italy's finest red wines, made from the Nebbiolo grape, barolo is renowned throughout the world for it's quality. the region also produces fantastic white wines as well and I'm sure many of you will have tried or heard of Gavi before. Made exclusively from the Cortese grape, the wines of Gavi DOCG or Gavi di Gavi DOCG, which is a smaller inner vineyard area around the city of Gavi itself, make up Piedmonte's finest white wines. Best enjoyed young when the fruit is at it's purest and the acidity is still mouth watering. Light bodied, full of zesty lemons, honeydew melon and crunchy apples with a slight honeyed character and a touch of almonds on the finish. A great white to pair with young cheeses, green pesto pasta or just a bowl of olives.