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Best Pinot Grigio 2023: The fruitiest and most elegant sips for every palate

Whatever your budget, these are the best Pinot Grigio for summer parties, birthdays, gifting and more

Pinot Grigio is one of the most popular grapes among UK wine drinkers. Its versatility and easy-drinking character has made it a firm favourite, but its widespread popularity is also sometimes to its detriment. Despite the supermarket shelves being full to bursting with Pinot Grigio, it can be hard to find the best Pinot Grigio bottles among the mass-produced and distinctly average stuff.

If you’re fed up of sipping sub-par bottles, you’re in luck. We’ve taken the liberty of quaffing a range of bottles from supermarkets, independents and specialist wine sellers to find a selection of refreshingly delicious Pinot Grigio worthy of a place in your wine fridge.

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Best Pinot Grigio: At a glance

How to choose the best Pinot Grigio for you

What is Pinot Grigio?

Pinot Grigio – or Pinot Gris in France – is so-called because the grapes, though white, have a distinctive grey-pink hue. The wines are usually white too, though Pinot Grigio blush or rose wines are also popular, and you may find the odd bottle of skin contact orange wine using these grapes, particularly with natural wines. Though Pinot Grigio originated in France’s Alsace, it’s now probably best known in its Italian form, where it’s grown widely in the northeast of the country. Today, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and a few other winemaking regions also produce really good examples.

What should I look for?

Pinot Grigio is a hardy, versatile grower and, as such, its wine styles vary a lot according to climate, terroir and the winemakers’ preferences. So, while the characteristics of a good Italian Pinot Grigio tend towards light, approachable citrus, stone fruit and florals, wines made in the classic Alsatian style are rounder and more honeyed – much like many other wines hailing from the region.

Aside from these main styles, the Pinot Grigio made across Australia and New Zealand can be something of a lucky dip where anything from tropical flavours to notes of smoke and wood can present themselves. Whatever style of Pinot Grigio you prefer, a good bottle should be elegant, well balanced and gently fruity, rather than the insipid or poorly made examples that might have put you off this easy-drinking, accessible wine in the past. Just remember: accessible and approachable needn’t mean uninspiring and characterless.

How much should I spend?

Pinot Grigio is unlikely to command the high prices of many old-world wines, but that’s not to say that a bargain bottle is your best bet. It pays to spend a little more on this varietal, preferably with a small winemaker. A rock-bottom price often means you’ll simply be buying up the industrially produced “neutral” (read: tasteless) stuff, rather than nabbing yourself a good-value tipple. Overall, you should expect to pay around £10-20 to pick up something with real personality, although this year there are a few incredibly tasty supermarket bargains, too. Don’t lay these down either; drink now, perfectly chilled.

How we test Pinot Grigio

The Expert Reviews testing process requires hands-on testing for any product; so it’s corkscrews at the ready before we can recommend any bottle of Pinot Grigio that darkens our door. We chill each bottle to around 7ºC before pouring a snifter to appraise the nose of the wine, making note of anything particularly lovely. We’ll then move on to tasting the wines in a series, so we can sort the best styles for parties from the best special occasion wines. We’ll also compare the wines with price in mind. We’re looking to recommend a range of wines from bargain basement options to splurges.

When tasting the wine, we look for how consistent it is with what you’d expect from the Pinot Grigio category, so those citrus flavours, honey and flint, or whether it’s something completely surprising – not always a bad thing. Finally, we’ll share the shortlisted wines with a few willing volunteers to check our findings and allow for a spectrum of opinion. Our vigorous taste tests mean there’s something for everyone in our best buy lists. Cheers.

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The best Pinot Grigio you can buy in 2023

1. Caparelli Pinot Grigio: The best budget Pinot Grigio

Price: £4.50 | Buy now from Tesco

So here is our bargain basement pick and it’s a real steal. Caparelli Pinot Grigio is made from grapes grown in two of the three famous Pinot Grigio producing areas of Northeast Italy – Veneto and Friuli – which allows for harmony and balance across this juicy, fruity dry white. There’s a citrussy sharp nose, leaning into more orchard fruits and lots of youthful greenness that makes it an ideal party white, or something inexpensive to knock back in the garden when it’s hot.

The producer suggests it also pairs well with chicken, salads and creamy pasta, and we agree. There are no surprises here but it’s a solid bottle with good acidity, which so many bottles in this price range don’t have. Tesco has worked hard on its summer wines this year and has a plethora of good Pinot Grigio in particular – you could also try the pear-tastic Puiattino Pinot Grigio (£10) if you have a little more to spend.

Key details – Bottle size: 750ml; ABV: 12%; Vegan: Yes

Buy now from Tesco

2. Tempus Two Quartz Pinot Grigio: The best everyday Pinot Grigio

Price: £8 | Buy now from Asda

This affordably priced Tempus Two Quart Pinot Grigio has proved itself to be a bit of a gem – if you’ll excuse the pun. It’s an Australian wine hailing from the New South Wales region, where its climate of semi-tropical summers and chilly winters makes for sweet, sun-ripened grapes, and is as vibrant and fruit-filled as you’d hope, but with a little restraint. Fruit flavours are thankfully fresh and elegant, rather than sugary and flabby. While there is a distinct ripeness of pear, lime and mandarin, there’s also good acidity and minerality to keep things in check.

We also loved the smattering of spice in this wine, with fragrant white pepper making this feel more complex and expensive than its price. We’d enjoy this shared with friends or paired with summery roasted poultry.

Key details – Bottle size: 750ml; ABV: 12%; Vegan: Yes

Buy now from Asda

3. Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Grigio: the best Pinot Grigio to have with food

Price: £11 | Buy now from Waitrose Cellar

This wine has all the big NZ flavours you would hope for due to the sunny-yet-cool and coastal Martinborough climate. Think fresh melons, luscious pears and a hint of the tropical – but it’s also got a bit more complexity up its sleeve. Pinot Grigios made in the Southern hemisphere tend towards the more Alsace style of winemaking, and you can see that in this bottle. This means the fruits are ripe, rather than crisp, while notes of honey play across the palate and the texture is silky, rather than mouth-wateringly refreshing.

It’s a punchy 13.5% and while delicious when enjoyed alone, this wine really shines when paired with highly spiced dishes – particularly Asian flavours – and also does well with seafood.

Key details – Bottle size: 750ml; ABV: 13.5%; Vegan: Not stated

Buy now from Waitrose Cellar

4. Channing Daughters Pinot Grigio: The best small-batch Pinot Grigio

Price: £19 | Buy now from Wanderlust Wine

Here’s something a bit different: a Pinot Grigio from Long Island, New York. Winemakers Channing Daughters make several varietals from its 28-acre vineyards, all by hand and in small batches. Just 582 cases of this delightful Pinot Grigio were made, so grab a bottle sharpish to experience this antidote to the usual mass-made stuff. With the fruit-forward citrus flavours of an Italian-style Pinot Grigio and the ripeness and character of an Alsace wine, this might just be our favourite new find.

There are pears and lemons aplenty on the nose and palate before a mature oak comes into play, alongside heady honeysuckle. A portion of this wine has been matured in oak barrels, and some of the grapes were given skin contact time, so the rounded, woody big flavours are fantastic. With a clean, almost flinty finish, this is a versatile but special wine that is best enjoyed with light pasta dishes.

Key details – Bottle size: 750ml; ABV: 12.5%; Vegan: Yes

Buy now from Wanderlust Wine

5. The Black Pig Pinot Grigio: The best classic Pinot Grigio

Price: £11 | Buy now from Virgin Wines

When most people think of Pinot Grigio, they probably think lemons and green fruits, but without the zestiness or crisp dryness of something like a standard Sauvignon Blanc. That’s exactly what this is: for people who want all the easy drinking of a fairly neutral (but not thin or insipid) wine, plus all the fun of something with a bit of personality. Named after the small herd of black pigs that potter freely around the winery, the Black Pig Pinot Grigio from South East Australia is good in that it’s bursting with sour-sweet flavours such as pear drops and lemon sherbert, yet has a pleasant crunchiness from intense green apple.

Pale yellow in colour with a slight green tinge, this wine looks and tastes spankingly youthful and is just the ticket for drinking on its own in the sun.

Key details – Bottle size: 750ml; ABV: 12%; Vegan: Yes

Buy now from Virgin Wines

6. Waimea Estate Pinot Gris: The best New Zealand Pinot Grigio

Price: £14 | Buy now from MajesticWe’ve already talked about how New Zealand Pinot Grigio winemakers tend to follow the French style, and here is another example of a beautifully aromatic, silky, floral wine made in the same image. The Waimea estate is perched on the edge of the Tasman sea – thought to be NZ’s sunniest spot – and proves to be ideal growing conditions for the Pinot Gris/Grigio vines. It this instance. it’s produced grapes so ripe, the lemon character spills over into delicious creamy lemon curd. Rich, luscious and buttery, this wine also has a welcome layer of freshness from fuzzy peaches and lavender, as well as added complexity from hints of exotic spice taking it into a long, mineral finish.

It’s unusual to find a Pinot Grigio so equally aromatic and refreshing; this bottle has more than a touch of the Gewurztraminer about it – and that’s no complaint from us. Pair with Indonesian and Vietnamese dishes for a flavour bomb.

Key details – Bottle size: 750ml; ABV: 13%; Vegan: Yes

Buy now from Majestic

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