Both Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc belong to the family of light-bodied white wines that are immensely popular among wine buffs around the world owing to their dry, refreshing and crispy attributes. Although they are very much similar when it comes to pairing them with delish summer grub or enjoying them as an everyday wine, their distinct aromas and flavours certainly set both these whites apart. With alcohol content ranging from 12% ABV to 14% ABV in both of them, these two are the ideal choice as spring sippers.

As spring has already come knocking at the door, let’s take account of the differences between Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc and then decide upon the one to keep us company this springtime, shall we?


Until and unless you don’t want to embarrass yourself at a wine tasting sesh, you’d want to know the correct pronunciation of these wines. Pinot Grigio is pronounced “pee-no gree-jo” and the right way to pronounce Sauvignon Blanc is “saw-veen-yawn blonk.”

AKA (Also Known As)

Although most wine lovers are already familiar with another famous name of Pinot Grigio, that is Pinot Gris; not many are aware that Sauvignon Blanc is also known as Fumé Blanc.

Origin of Wine

Having discovered and cultivated originally in the Southwest regions of France, Sauvignon Blanc owes its origin mainly to the Bordeaux region while Pinot Grigio has the Burgundy Region of France to give credit for its origin.

Wine Grapes

‘Grigio’ translates to ‘Grey’ in Italian, and it won’t be wrong to say that Pinot Grigio couldn’t ask for a better name, for its grapes boast dusty greyish skin. Grapes of Sauvignon Blanc, however, display a bright green colour and are roundly shaped and densely clustered.

Ideal Climate

Pinot Grigio grapes demand a cooler climate to acquire the best traits, whereas Sauvignon Blanc grapes grow exceptionally well in both cool and warm climates. The Sauvignon Blanc grape, although, begins to bud late and tends to ripen early, which is why a sunnier climate serves as the ideal growing condition for it.

Best Australian Regions

Australia is home to scores of wine regions known for producing quality wines and with regard to Pinot Noir, regions of King Valley, Orange, Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula top the list. In the case of Sauvignon Blanc, two significant hot spots where the wine thrives are Margaret River in Western Australia and Adelaide Hills in South Australia.

Wine Acidity

The higher the acidity, the crispier or tarter the wine is. While Sauvignon Blanc features high acidic levels, Pinot Grigio contains a little less acidity. This is why Pinot Grigio tastes smoother than Sauvignon Blanc.

Wine Colour

Pinot Grigio likes to flaunt a pale lemon or light straw colour while Sauvignon Blanc is often dressed in light straw to golden tinge.

Wine Nose

The nose of the wines differs a lot as Sauvignon Blanc proudly boasts a much more fragrant profile in comparison to Pinot Grigio, which comes across as more on the reserved side. Neutral and subtle aromas of Pinot Grigio coyly make their way to the nose, whereas bold fruity aromas of Sauvignon Blanc readily jump out of its glass after a swirl.

Wine Palate

Speaking of flavours of these wines, Pinot Grigio showcases more complex flavours in comparison to its white counterpart, which is more into simplistic flavours. The fruity flavours of Pinot Grigio that dominate the palate include lemon, melon, peach, yellow apple and nectarine whereas Sauvignon Blanc fills the palate with flavours of gooseberry, grapefruit, passion fruit, green melon and white peach.

Food Pairings

Food and wine should complement each other and in the case of Pinot Grigio, look no further than full-flavoured seafood dishes, such as flaky fish, crayfish and scallops, to make things interesting for your palate. Apropos of Sauvignon Blanc, food pairings do not differ much. Fresh seafood like oysters, whitebait and mussels go perfectly well with the wine. Even sweetbreads, certain cheeses and fresh herbs bring out the best flavours of Sav Blanc.

Best Drinking Time

As is the case with other light-bodied white wines, enjoy Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc while they are young when their acidity and bold fruit are at their peak. Although both of these wines do not have a good reputation when it comes to ageing, Pinot Noir has a cellaring potential of up to five years, whereas Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t taste that great after a couple of years.

Well, we’re sure that by now, you have made up your mind about which of these spring stunners would float your boat. So, go on and make the most of this sweet flowering season with a refreshing tipple by your side!