Pinot Grigio vs Vermentino: Contrasting Two Delightful Whites

Here’s a quick side-by-side that covers the most common styles of Pinot Grigio and Vermentino.

When it comes to white wines, comparing Vermentino vs Pinot Grigio makes sense.

Pinot Grigio exhibits a lighter body, along with subtle notes of stone fruit and citrus.Vermentino offers more body, intensified flavor, and vibrant acidity. While Pinot Grigio is widely available at entry-level prices, both wines can be enjoyed within the $15-$20 USD range.

TL;DR: If you like Pinot Grigio, you’re going to like Vermentino.

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

Pinot Grigio Basics: A Versatile Italian Classic

what does pinot grigio wine taste like - pinot grigio wine profile - pinot grigio vs vermentino

Pinot Grigio, originating from Italy, has gained international popularity due to its approachable and versatile nature. Today closely connected to the quintessential winegrowing regions such as Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Pinot Grigio presents a delicate flavor profile with subtle fruit notes and enticing floral aromas.

It is renowned for its light to medium body, offering a refreshing and easy-to-drink experience. (Here’s a deep-dive into Pinot Grigio wines.)

Being the world’s #1 Pinot Grigio producer, Italy makes Pinot Grigio at affordable, everyday prices, making it a great wine for casual drinking.

You’ll also find higher-end selections crafted by renowned producers that exhibit more expressiveness and flavor on the palate. Let price be your guide.

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

Helpful Tip: If you’re new to wine tasting, here’s a quick guide to help you navigate unfamiliar wines.

Vermentino Basics: Mediterranean Elegance

what does vermentino wine taste like - pinot grigio vs vermentino

Vermentino, a true Mediterranean wine, offers a captivating experience. With origins in regions such as Italy, France (where it is known as Rolle), and Sardinia, Vermentino showcases a distinct character. 

Vermentino’s vibrant acidity and refreshing citrus profile pair well with sun-drenched terraces and light Mediterranean cuisine. 

Vermentino will usually have a medium body, providing more weight on the palate. Its flavor profile includes hints of tropical fruits, citrus zest, and sometimes a touch of saline minerality, reflecting its coastal vineyards.

Fun Wine Fact: Researchers now think that Vermentino’s been cultivated as a wine grape since the 1300s.

Today, Vermentino has gained recognition beyond its Mediterranean origins, with vineyards in regions such as California, Oregon, and even Idaho.  

Wine Comparison: Pinot Grigio vs. Vermentino

Pinot Grigio Wine Profile:

  • Sweetness: Pinot Grigio is typically produced in a dry style, offering minimal residual sugar.
  • Alcohol: Pinot Grigio wines generally have a moderate alcohol content, ranging from around 11% to 13% ABV.
  • Body: Known for its light to medium body, Pinot Grigio provides a refreshing and easy-drinking experience.
  • Acid: While still crisp, Pinot Grigio tends to have milder acidity compared to Vermentino.
  • Flavor and Aroma Intensity: Pinot Grigio exhibits delicate flavors and aromas, with subtle floral nuances and hints of stone fruits.
  • Flavors: The flavor profile often includes notes of pear, green apple, lemon zest, and sometimes a touch of almond or honey.

Vermentino Wine Profile:

  • Sweetness: Vermentino wines lean towards dryness, offering a range of dry to off-dry styles.
  • Alcohol: Vermentino wines typically have a moderate alcohol content, similar to Pinot Grigio, ranging from around 11% to 13% ABV.
  • Body: Vermentino is known for its medium body.
  • Acid: Vermentino showcases vibrant acidity.
  • Flavor and Aroma Intensity: Vermentino boasts refreshing citrus notes and subtle floral undertones.
  • Flavors: The flavor profile often includes tropical fruits, citrus, and a hint of saline minerality if grown near the coast.

Helpful Tip: If you’re unsure about serving temperatures, here’s a breakdown of wine serving temperatures for different wine styles and occasions.

Are Pinot Grigio and Vermentino Similar?

Pinot Grigio and Vermentino are similar. Both wines showcase citrus flavors, making them suitable for light dishes and pairing well with seafood. If you enjoy Pinot Grigio, you’re likely to appreciate Vermentino as well.

What Is the Difference Between Pinot Grigio and Vermentino?

Vermentino tends to have a medium body, compared to Pinot Grigio’s light to medium body. Vermentino often exhibits tropical fruit flavors and a touch of saline minerality, while Pinot Grigio leans towards delicate stone fruit notes. Additionally, Vermentino has more pronounced acidity.

Pinot Grigio vs. Vermentino Winemaking

difference between pinot grigio and vermentino - vineyard

Both Pinot Grigio and Vermentino undergo protective winemaking techniques to preserve freshness and minimize oxidation. Stainless steel and temperature-controlled fermentation are commonly employed. 

However, winemakers also experiment with different winemaking styles, such as barrel fermentation and skin contact, resulting in innovative expressions of both wines. 

If you’re fortunate enough to find Pinot Grigio or Vermentino wines where the winemaker experimented, then I encourage you to explore!

Pinot Grigio vs. Vermentino: Food Pairings and Serving Temperature

Pinot Grigio’s delicate fruit and floral character make it a versatile companion for a variety of dishes, including appetizers, white meats, and lighter vegetarian cuisine. Vermentino, with its racy acidity and refreshing citrus notes, pairs exceptionally well with seafood dishes, salads, and light appetizers.

Personal Note: I love Vermentino with crackers and herbed chevre cheese.

Both Pinot Grigio and Vermentino are best enjoyed chilled. Place them in the refrigerator overnight or for a few hours before serving. For Vermentino, remove the bottle from the refrigerator approximately 10-15 minutes before pouring to reach the ideal serving temperature. Pinot Grigio can be enjoyed immediately after opening.

Which Is More Expensive, Pinot Grigio vs. Vermentino?

When comparing the prices of Pinot Grigio and Vermentino, it’s natural to wonder about their relative costs.

Pinot Grigio Cost

pinot grigio on store shelf - pinot grigio vs vermentino wine
These Pinot Grigio wines from Delle Venezie come from a region in Italy that produces huge quantities of Pinot Grigio wines.
  • Entry-level Pinot Grigio wines are typically affordable, ranging from $8 to $15 per bottle. If wine affordability is something you’re thinking about, Pinot Grigio is an accessible choice without compromising on the refreshing and crisp flavors that make this wine so popular.
  • If you look for premium Pinot Grigio, there are higher-priced Pinot Grigio wines available. These bottles, priced around $25 to $50 or higher, offer a more complex and nuanced drinking experience.

Vermentino Cost

  • Similar to Pinot Grigio, entry-level Vermentino wines also fall within accessible price ranges, usually ranging from $12 to $20 per bottle. These wines are known for their pure fruit flavors that forefront freshness, perfect for casual sipping and pairing.
  • On the premium side, Vermentino will have more intense fruit flavors. You’ll immediately notice just how pronounced they can be. Premium Vermentino wines sourced from renowned regions can have wine prices of $25 to $40 or more.

Final Thoughts – Vermentino or Pinot Grigio? 

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Both Pinot Grigio and Vermentino present delightful white wine options with their own unique characteristics.

I’m a big fan of side-by-side tastings to tease out the different wine characteristics.

A great way to get started with these two wines is to do a side-by-side comparison.

  • Grab 2 bottles of similarly priced Pinot Grigio and Vermentino.
  • Invite over a few friends and enjoy an afternoon of swirling and sipping.

Pinot Grigio showcases a delicate and easy-drinking nature at a price point that makes the wine a great choice for everyday drinking.

If you’re looking for more expressive wine, then Vermentino will be a fun choice that attacks your palate with juicy citrus and mouth-watering acidity.  

Discover More:
Sauvignon Blanc v Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio vs Pinot Blanc
Cabernet Sauvignon vs Chardonnay
Pinot Grigio vs Albarino

Thirsty for More?

I’m a big believer in doing side-by-side tastings to boost your wine knowledge. Here’s how to host your own wine tasting for beginners.

Check out this post on Chenin Blanc vs Chardonnay, another popular white wine, along with Chenin Blanc vs Riesling.

You should be able to find delicious wines at every price point. Check out this post on how to find great wines under $50.

Here’s another fun post worth exploring: What is rose? Definitely worth a read if you enjoy light pink wines!

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