So, in a previous post we tackled the difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio… but what about Pinot Blanc? What kind of wine is that?
Pinot Blanc is a semi-dry white wine. The grape is called “Pinot Blanc” because it was modified from the Pinot Grigio grape and is a variation of the Pinot Noir grape.
In Italy they call it “Pinot Bianco.”
In flavor, Pinot Blanc wine is less acidic than it’s “cousin” Pinot Grigio, and it can tend towards apple pit and smoky flavors. It is also sometimes aged in oak for more richness.
This varietal is often used in blends and it’s very common for winemakers to use this grape when making sparkling and sweet dessert wines as well.
Pinot Blanc wine is made in different regions around the world and each region produces wine with certain characteristics:
Alsace, France: Often oaked, the Pinot Blanc from Alsace tends to be creamy, with almond and a hint of apple and spice. It is often also used for the sparkling Cremant d’Alsace wines of the region.
Italy: Pinot Bianco from Italy is known to be very crisp and light. At times, it is used in blended wines and is used in the sparkling wine, Franciacorta.
Germany: Known in this region as “Weissburgunder” (White Burgundy), it is made refreshingly light.
Austria: In Austria, it is used to make “trockenbeerenauslese” (TBA for short), which is a very sweet wine. The grapes are not harvested until they shrivel up and the sugars have concentrated (similar to ice wines without the freeze).
Pinot Blanc is also commonly found in Argentina, Canada, the United States, and Uruguay.
This wine is a good match for seafood, white meats, white and butter sauces, and mild cheeses. The subtle and soft flavors of Pinot Blanc will be lost with spicy foods.
“Drink freely the wine life offers you and don’t worry how much you spill.”
– Marty Rubin