In our articles, we have a strong focus on the best cheeses to pair with a variety of different foods. However, just for a moment, we are taking a step back from the cheese part of our best cheese pairings to focus on the most classic cheese pairing of them all, wine – in particular, Pinot Gris.
What is Pinot Gris/ Pinot Grigio?
Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are popular white wine choices all around the world. Best known for their light, crisp texture, as well as their clean and easy to drink flavour.
A unique flavour profile provides a great basis to pair your wine with a variety of different cheeses. Before we get into the best cheeses for your wine, let us take a look at the similarities and the differences between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are the same grape variety. This grape is a close relative to the Pinot Noir grape and can have a grey, light purple appearance and colour. Despite this, the Pinot Gris grape is classed as a white wine grape, producing a wine that is very light and near-transparent in colour.
The Pinot Gris grape originates in France and is harvested at the last possible moment in the growth period. Therefore, Pinot Gris can be slightly heavier, a little more full-bodied with an oily texture. The flavours tend to be sweeter and more fruity, for example, peach and pear flavour.
In contrast, although Pinot Grigio is the same grape variety as Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio is grown in Italy. These grapes are harvested much earlier than their French counterparts. This means the grapes produce a much lighter, crisper and zestier flavoured wine. In addition, Pinot Grigio grapes have a higher acidity level, therefore the wine is less sweet than the French Pinot Gris.
Australian Pinot Gris and Grigio:
In recent years, growing Pinot Gris and Grigio grapes has become much more popular in Australia, particularly in the cooler climates in Tasmania. The Australian versions of these wines are becoming increasingly popular all around the world.
The flavour produced by these wines tends to be closer to the French style, slightly heavier, a little sweeter and a strong fruity apple flavour.
Of course, the type of cheese you decide to pair with your wine will depend on whether you choose Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio. However, some cheeses will pair perfectly.
Top 5 Cheese to Pair with Pinot Gris or Grigio:
- Midnight Moon
- Triple cream cheese eg, Brillat Savarin
- Parmigiano Reggiano
- Goats Cheese, eg, le marquis chevre du pelussin
This semi-hard goats cheese has a sweet and nutty flavour, whilst simultaneously being buttery, creamy and rich. This rich cheese makes a great pairing for a fresh and clean Pinot Grigio. Read more about midnight moon cheese here.
Brillat Savarin is a classic triple cream cheese. Made in France, this creamy heavenly delight has a fat content of over 80%. Salty, bitey and full of flavour, Brillat Savarin is ideal for a fruity and sweet Pinot Gris.
A traditional Swiss cheese, Comte is a great crowd pleaser and matches with a variety of different wines. Semi-hard in texture with rich yellow colour, this cow’s milk cheese is sweet, nutty and known to have over 80 different flavours in a single wheel.
A traditional Italian cheese that is known most commonly for its crumbly texture, salty bite and strong flavour. Parmigiano Reggiano is the perfect match for either Pinot Gris, the salty flavours to break through the oily texture or complement the clean acidity of a Pinot Grigio. Parmigiano Reggiano is a great pairing to follow our rule mentioned so frequently ‘What grows together goes together’.
Le Marquis Chevre du Pelussin:
A double cream style cheese, this creamy indulgent cheese is made with goat’s milk. Buttery and heavy in texture, it also has a beautiful light acidity flavour, almost like citrus. This is common for many goats milk cheeses and is a beautiful addition to a heavier, sweet and fruity Pinot Gris. Unlike many other goats cheese, the flavour is mild and subtle, therefore popular with people who claim they do not like goats cheese! You can read more about le marquis chevre du pelussin here.