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Is Pinot Grigio a Good Wine?

Is Pinot Grigio a Good Wine?

When you think of Italian white wine, pinot grigio likely comes to mind. That said– there’s a world in which pinot grigio doesn’t exist any longer. That’s a world we all should look forward to. Pinot grigio has monopolized the easy-drinking white wine market for too long.


Good news: Italy is full of white grapes that you may have never heard of, but fill the same purpose pinot grigio does. They are inexpensive, thirst quenching, and go with any food you can imagine yourself eating with your toes in the sea. These are wines to just drink.


Here are our favorite Italian white wines that fulfill your pinot grigio cravings but are just a little bit more interesting. We have pinot grigio cravings too.

9 Wines to Drink Instead of Pinot Grigio


Mitja Sirk, Bianco Venezia Giulia 2019

When any 11 year-old makes their own wine, it’s a sign that they can probably skip 5th grade science. But when Mitja Sirk did it, it was a sign that Friuli would soon have another highly noteworthy winemaker. He solely works with the region’s trademark grape variety, friulano, to produce a dry and refreshing white wine that’s a great alternative to Sancerre.


Ronco del Gnemiz, Friulano San Zuan 2019

In Friuli, a small glass of friulano is traditionally enjoyed alongside thin slices of prosciutto before dinner. The wine tastes like perfectly ripe melon, which explains its affinity for salty ham. This crisp-yet-rich white wine will flatter any charcuterie board, and you can drink it a large glass, not a small one.


Terenzuola, 'Vigne Basse' Vermentino Colli di Luni 2020

This refreshing white comes from the Italian Riviera. Drinking this wine is like going to the Italian Riviera, without having to see old men in speedos. It's made from the grape Vermentino, and is dry, lemony, and crisp. Like the Mediterranean winds that sweep over the vineyards, the wine is a little salty too. Have a glass whenever pesto is involved.


Marina Coppi, 'Marine' Favorita Colli Tortonesi 2015

Favorita is a rare Italian grape from Piedmont that makes rich but not oaky white wine with full but still crisp flavors of honey pear. Marina Coppi makes our favorite.


Cirelli, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2019

Cirelli is not just a winery. On their many acres of organic land in Abruzzo they press olive oil, grow fruits and vegetables, and raise cattle too. But their wine is great. This bottle is crisp, lemony, and a little salty. It makes sense after a long day if you were doing all that work, too.


I Vigneri, 'Aurora' Etna Bianco 2019

Even though this bottle doesn't say Etna Bianco on its label, it is that. Etna Bianco is a white wine made on the active volcano Mount Etna in Sicily; wines made here are usually salty, smoky, and crisp. Winemaker Salvo Foti farms his vineyards like a garden, meticulous and thoughtful in every decision. The result is an easy-drinking summer wine.


Punta Crena, 'Vigneto Reiné' Mataòssu Liguria 2019

This dry white wine is made from a grape called Mataòssu, which isn’t grown outside of Liguria, let alone outside of the Punta Crena vineyards. Like most coastal Italian white wines, it’s refreshing and salty thanks to constant sea-breezes from the Mediterranean. Mataòssu here grows on 90+ year old vines, leading to particularly concentrated, aromatic wines. Those wines have been made by the same family for more than 500 years, with very little changing about their winemaking practices to this day. They continue to make appealing wines in an even more appealing place– the hills overlooking the Italian Riviera.


Guido Marsella, Fiano di Avellino 2018

Campania is the Southern Italian state where you have the areas of Amalfi and Napoli. Amalfi is the stretch of the Mediterranean you’ll see on Instagram all summer long. It’s dramatic and beautiful. Napoli is the home of pizza which trumps Amalfi purely based on that. In Campania, there are a couple of wine regions that are important. They are nestled away from the coast and into the mountains which are east of the beaches. This one is made with Fiano d’Avellino. It's crisp, floral, and salty.


Vignai da Duline, 'Chioma Integrale' Malvasia 2019

About a 10-minute drive from the Slovenian border in northeastern Italy, Vignai da Duline produces various types of natural wines, including this one made from malvasia grapes. Like lots of Italian white wines, it’s about as refreshing as a misting fan filled with saltwater, but it also has enough body and complexity to be a solid alternative to Loire chenin blanc.






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