Fiano vs Pinot Grigio

CharacteristicsFianoPinot Grigio
HuePale lemon to goldPale lemon
ColorWhiteWhite
AromasCitrus, melon, honey, mineral, pearCitrus, pear, green apple
SweetnessDry to off-dryDry
AcidMediumMedium to High
Alcohol (%)12-13%12-13%
BodyLight to mediumLight
IntensityMediumMedium
Key Growing RegionsItaly (Campania)Italy, Alsace, California, Oregon
Classic PairingsSeafood, pasta, poultryLight pasta, seafood, salads
Price Range$20-$50$10-$25

Fiano vs Pinot Grigio is a logical white wine comparison. These two Italian whites have much in common.

Fiano and Pinot Grigio are both medium intensity citrus-driven white wines. Fiano has honey and mineral notes. Pinot Grigio has green apple and pear. Both are medium alcohol.

TL;DR: If you enjoy Pinot Grigio, you’ll enjoy Fiano.

Here’s what you need to know about Fiano vs Pinot Grigio.

Pinot Grigio Basics: Everyday White

pinot grigio vs fiano - what's pinot grigio wine taste like infographic

Originating from Italy, Pinot Grigio has soared to international fame owing to its approachable and versatile nature. Predominantly associated with renowned wine regions like Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Pinot Grigio has a delicate flavor profile with subtle fruit notes and enchanting floral aromas. It stands out for its light to medium body, delivering a refreshing and easily approachable drinking experience.

Helpful Tip: Check out the complete guide to Pinot Grigio wines here.

Fiano Basics: Italy’s Other White

what's fiano wine taste like - fiano vs Pinot Grigio

Fiano’s a white Italian wine grape at home in the Campania region of Southern Italy. For much of time, producers made Fiano in an oxidative style. Today, improvements in winemaking science have turned this little grape into a delightful white wine showcasing citrus, Asian pear, melon, mineral, and honey notes.

Fiano will usually have a medium minus to medium body, and medium acid. It comes in dry and off-dry styles. Check out more on Fiano here.

Helpful Wine Buying Tip: Look for wines with the Fiano di Avellino DOCG designation for a classic Fiano experience.

Wine Comparison: Fiano vs Pinot Grigio

Here’s a quick overview of the most common styles of Fiano and Pinot Grigio wines.

Pinot Grigio Wine Profile

  • Sweetness: Typically produced in a dry style, Pinot Grigio offers minimal residual sugar.
  • Alcohol: Pinot Grigio wines generally feature moderate alcohol content, ranging from around 11% to 13% ABV.
  • Body: Recognized for its light to medium body, Pinot Grigio ensures a refreshing and easy-drinking experience, usually lighter than Fiano wine.
  • Acid: Pinot Grigio tends to have medium-plus to high acid.
  • Flavor and Aroma Intensity: Pinot Grigio presents delicate flavors and aromas, with subtle floral nuances and hints of stone fruits.
  • Flavors: The profile often includes notes of pear, green apple, lemon zest, and sometimes a touch of almond or honey.

Fun Wine Fact: Pinot Grigio is known as Pinot Gris in France. Despite the nomenclature difference, both terms refer to the same grape variety.

Fiano Wine Profile

  • Sweetness: Fiano wines lean towards dryness, but can be found in dry to off-dry styles.
  • Alcohol: Fiano wines typically have a medium alcohol content, similar to Pinot Grigio wines.
  • Body: Fiano is known for its medium minus to medium body.
  • Acid: Fiano has medium acidity, similar to Pinot Grigio, maybe a little lower.
  • Flavor and Aroma Intensity: Fiano has citrus, melon, pear, mineral, and honey notes.
  • Flavors: The flavor profile often includes lemon peel, lime, honeydew melon, pear, mineral, and even a slight spice with age.

Are Fiano and Pinot Grigio Similar?

Fiano and Pinot Grigio are similar. Both wines have medium acid and lighter bodies. Both wines share medium intensity and medium alcohol and will have citrus notes.

What Is the Difference Between Fiano and Pinot Grigio?

Fiano wines have a classic honey and mineral note that can turn spicy with age. Pinot Grigio has pear and green apple and can have higher acid than Fiano (but not always).

Pinot Grigio vs. Fiano: Food Pairings and Serving Temperature

fiano vs pinot grigio - turkey wrap sandwich

Fiano and Pinot Grigio share a learner, delicate nature and will pair well with lighter cuisine. Lean into the wines’ citrus core when thinking about food pairing. Chicken, white fish, salads, creamy cheeses, and cream sauces.

Both wines are best enjoyed chilled. 

Place them in the refrigerator overnight or for a few hours before serving. Remove the bottles from the refrigerator approximately 10-15 minutes before pouring to reach the ideal serving temperature.

Helpful Tip: If you’re just getting started with wine, head over to the post that covers just the basics of food and wine pairing. 

Which Is More Expensive: Fiano vs Pinot Grigio

It’s natural to think about bottle costs when comparing similar white wines. Pinot Grigio enjoys greater popularity overall and is more widely planted in many regions around the world, so in general will be less expensive than Fiano.

Quality LevelPinot GrigioFiano
Entry-level$5 – $10$20 – $30
Premium$15 – $25+$30 – $50

How Much Does Pinot Grigio Cost?

  • Entry-level Pinot Grigio wines are usually priced between $5 and $10 per bottle. These wines provide excellent value for everyday enjoyment, showcasing the grape’s vibrant flavors.
  • More premium Pinot Grigio wines are priced around $15-$25

Exploring different price points within each varietal allows you to find a Fiano or Pinot Grigio that aligns with your taste preferences and budget.

Helpful Tip: Pinot Grigio wines are bottles you’ll find at your local grocery store. Check out this post for 9 quick tips on how to buy great grocery store wines.

Fiano Cost

  • Entry-level Fiano wines are more expensive on the export market than other Italian whites. Expect to pay $20-$30.
  • On the premium side, Fiano will have more intense honey and layered mineral notes. They may even have the ability to age. Premium Fiano wines will cost $30 to $50, but rarely more than that.

Which Is Better? Fiano vs Pinot Grigio

If you enjoy a zesty and vibrant wine with bright juicy green fruit, Pinot Grigio is the better choice. If you enjoy softer citrus, honey, and minerality, Fiano is better. If you are on a wine budget, then Pinot Grigio is often less expensive than Fiano.

Personal Note: If I was faced with the option between a bottle of mid-priced Pinot Grigio and a Fiano wine, I’d take the Fiano wine any day of the week. It’s not common where I buy my wines and I’m always looking for novelty.

Final Thoughts – Fiano vs Pinot Grigio

Fiano and Pinot Grigio are fun white wines to compare because they can seem similar. They can both be refreshing white wines with a citrus core. Pinot Grigio, however, leans into tree fruit, while Fiano has that honey and mineral side.

Your Challenge: Get a similarly priced bottle of Fiano and Pinot Grio and host a DIY tasting this weekend.

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