Sign In


Latest News
How to Pair Pinot Grigio With Food

How to Pair Pinot Grigio With Food

It’s time to change the vocabulary around Pinot Grigio (also called Pinot Gris). Often described as light, simple, popular or easygoing, these words can sound like backhanded compliments—especially when they come from the segment of the wine world that dismisses Pinot Grigio’s undeniable pleasures. Instead, one should try to replace those words with racy, loveable or shapeshifting, as Pinot Grigio is drastically different depending on where it’s made.  

For instance, Pinot Gris in Alsace and Oregon is known for having a riper, fuller style, which tricks many consumers into believing it’s a different grape entirely. Whereas in certain parts of North-Eastern Italy, Pinot Grigio is full-bodied, elegant and complex while maintaining its hallmark acidity to ensure it never sits heavy on the palate. 

In fact, Pinot Grigio’s versatile nature makes it one of the easiest white wines to pair with food. It possesses ample citrusy acidity, fruit flavors like pear, nectarine and melon, as well as a backbone of savory minerality that can read stony, steely or even saline. It’s a refreshing choice that you won’t tire of across the entirety of a leisurely meal.  

Here’s how to pair Pinot Grigio with everything from salad to cheese.   

Pairing Pinot Grigio and Cheese 

Styling by Katherine Rosen / Photo by Meg Baggott

“Pinot Grigio has subtle flavors and aromas that can be easily overpowered by robust flavors,” says Molly Austad, wine director at Houston’s Bludorn and Navy Blue restaurants. “Something Pinot Grigio does have in spades is acid and minerality, so I stick to simple dishes that cater to a higher acid wine. For instance, fresh cheese—think goat cheese, mozzarella or feta—is a great pairing because the acid cuts through the fat and makes your mouth water, providing a palate-cleansing effect.” 

Recipes to Try

Pairing Pinot Grigio and Salad 

Spring Greens with Lemon-Shallot Dressing and Blue Cheese Salad ROM for May 2020 issue New York City, NY 2/26/20 Photo: Sarah Anne Ward Food: Barrett Washburne Props: Paola Andrea
Photo by Sarah Anne Ward

Sauvignon Blanc and Grüner Veltliner are usually offered as salad pairings due to their “green” notes. However, these options can be unpleasantly vegetal if the wine veers too far into bell pepper, green bean and cut grass flavors and aromas.  

Enter Pinot Grigio.

“I enjoy Pinot Grigio with salad and a light vinaigrette because they have complementary flavors,” says Austad. “The wine provides a similar flavor profile to the citrus and salt found in the dressing.”  

Zachary Newman, sommelier at Georgia James restaurant in Texas, agrees with its affinity for vegetables. “It may not be the most thought-provoking, but it can be delightfully citrusy and slightly bitter,” he says. “It’s a great pairing for starting courses like salad or crudités—or by the pool with goat cheese-stuffed Peppadew peppers.” 

Recipes to Try

Pairing Pinot Grigio and Pasta 

An image of Cacio e Pepe, Roman pasta spaghetti with black pepper and cheese._GettyImages-1304870492

“Simply prepared pasta dishes with light cream or seafood-based sauces are delicious with Pinot Grigio because it acts as counterbalance,” says Austad. “It offsets the weight and richness of the pasta, while adding brightness to the dish.” It also works wonders on salty pasta sauces like pesto, Bolognese or those with salty Italian cheeses like Pecorino.  

In cooking, lemon juice is an antidote to oversalting, as it reduces the perception of salt in the dish; Pinot Grigio can play a similar role. 

Recipes to Try

Pairing Pinot Grigio and Fish 

Photo by Anton Petrus / Getty

As a very general rule, anything you would squeeze a lemon wedge over is going to pair well with Pinot Grigio, like simple fish and shellfish dishes.  

“The truth is, there’s a reason the grape is so universally loved [among consumers],” says Newman. “It’s light and refreshing, and with summer fast approaching, it’s perfect for the season, even with something serious like grilled fish.”  

Ceviche is another dish that can be hard to pair. But it marries perfectly with Pinot Grigio, since ceviche’s tart marinade demands an equally zippy wine.  

Recipes to Try

Pairing Pinot Grigio and Chicken 

Photo by Meg Baggott / Styling by Katherine Rosen

Something frequently overlooked in pairing recommendations is the season and the temperature. The same roast chicken that calls for Pinot Noir on a winter night wants Pinot Grigio on a warm summer afternoon. It’s especially good with a salad-topped grilled chicken paillard, or herby and lemony chicken skewers.  

Recipes to Try

What Is Ramato? And How Do I Pair It with Food? 

Four fried whole sardines with charred lemon and dipping sauce
Photo by Meg Baggott / Food Styling by Katherine Rosen

Ramato, Italian for “coppery” or “auburn,” is a skin-contact Pinot Grigio with ancient origins in Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia. It was, in fact, the typical style of the region until the 1960s, when winemakers started making the lighter styles that dominate today.  

“Not only does the color give the wine appeal, it makes for a more exciting wine as it holds more weight, a little texture and slightly more intense flavors of the grape,” says Michael Laudenslager, sommelier and assistant general manager at Peasant in New York City. With richer aromas of spice, flowers and tropical and stone fruit, it shows yet another facet of the grape’s versatility.  

In northeast Italy, you might find Ramato paired with the region’s prosciutto and other cured meats, fish stews, bread dumplings and cheesy pastas. Stateside, Laudenslager suggests classic fried fish, especially an oilier fish whose flavors can overpower most white wines.  

“Something near and dear to me is fried smelts, which are small enough to be fried and eaten bones and all,” says Laudenslager. “The wine will never be lost with a fishy fried food since the intensity has been kicked up a few notches. A basket of fish and a bottle of Ramato Pinot Grigio will win me over every time.” 

Recipes to Try

Source link

Related Posts