Full-bodied Pinot Blanc that has seen some oak has a rich and creamy texture and pairs best with turkey, Quiche Lorraine, gooey cheese omelets, pork tenderloin, onion tarts, escargot, and a shrimp cocktail. Lighter and crisper Pinot Blanc pair best with mildly spicy Asian cuisine, shellfish, crudité, white fish, simple pasta dishes, and chicken.
Many people often compare Pinot Blanc to a poor man’s Chardonnay, and similar to Chardonnay, you’ll find a medium to full-bodied style and lighter style like a Chablis. Both styles share flavours of almond, green apple, pear, mineral, honey, peach and citrus. Pinot Blanc is referred to as Pinot Bianco in Italy and Weissburgunder in Germany and Austria. In our food and wine pairings table below, Pinot Blanc Alsace refers to the fuller-bodied style, while Pinot Blanc points towards the lighter unoaked style.
Pinot Blanc Alsace
While made all over the world, Pinot Blanc is most famous in Alsace, where you’ll find a medium-bodied and creamy white wine with almond aromas, a touch of minerality and a smoky finish that differentiates it from other Pinot Blanc styles. Pinot Blanc refers to both a grape and a style with Alsace Pinot Blanc, as the wine may contain any of the Pinot varieties, including Pinot Gris, Auxerrois Blanc, and Pinot Noir. California Pinot Blanc tends to be oaked and made in the Alsace style.
Pinot Blanc is also used to make Cremant d’Alsace.
Pinot Bianco is a light and crisp white wine made in Italy and shares the same almond, citrus, apple and pear qualities of Pinot Blanc. Instead of a creamy body, however, you have a refreshing crispness. The flavours are way more muted as well, making Pinot Bianco ideal with light chicken dishes, crab, shellfish, shrimp, squid, and sole. Famous producers include Alois Lageder, Tessere and Cantina Andriano. Pinot Bianco from Italy may also be made into a sparkling white wine which will be labelled as Spumante.
I will go into further details about Pinot Bianco with more specific wine pairings in a future blog. For now, you can search our wine pairing database for more food and wine pairings.
In Austria and Germany, Pinot Blanc is called Weissburgunder and is made into a refreshingly light white wine that features notes of almonds, citrus, minerals, smoke and apples. Pair Weissburgunder with any of the options listed in the table below as Pinot Blanc (not Alsace which has a creamy and fuller body)
Similar to Crudité, unoaked Pinot Blanc is simple and refreshing. With its peach, pear, apple, and lemon zest flavours, Pinot Blanc won’t overpower the Crudité, so you taste both the veggies and the wine on the finish. Pinot Blanc also has a charming minerality that complements the raw flavours of carrots, celery, cucumber and any other garden veggies that find their way into your Crudité platter.
Scallops and Pinot Blanc Pairing
Pinot Blanc is delicious with simple preparations of Scallops, such as grilled Scallops. The hint of smokiness complements the grilled flavours, while the wine’s minerality embraces the seabreeze flavours of the Scallops. Meanwhile, the light and crisp lemon, apple, pear and pineapple flavours of Pinot Blanc won’t overpower the shellfish’s delicate flavours.
Pork Tenderloin & Pinot Blanc Pairing
Pork Tenderloin is a delicate and tender cut of the pig and is more similar to the white meat turkey or chicken than beef. As Pork Tenderloin is not extremely flavourful, the apple and pear notes famously go perfectly with Pork and add a lot of style to this pairing. Should you stuff your Pork with apple chutney, or anything citrusy, the citrus and stone fruit flavours of Pinto Blanc will complement the stuffing.
Both oaked Pinot Blanc from Alsace and unoaked Pinot Blanc, such as a Pinot Bianco will pair up nicely with Pork Tenderloin. I prefer an Alsace Pinot Blanc as I adore how the creamy texture of the wine matches the tender texture of Pork Tenderloin.
Escargot and Alsace Pinot Blanc Pairing
Alsace Pinot Blanc has an almond aroma that complements nuttier Escargot dishes that incorporate nuts such as Snails in Limousine or Somiersky Snail. The creamy body of an Alsace Pinot Blanc blends in perfectly with any butter in the Escargot dish, while the bright flavours of pear, peach and green apples offer up plenty of refreshment. You’ll also get a hint of minerality that complements the snail meat.
Eggs Benedict & Alsace Pinot Blanc
A fuller-boded Alsace Pinot Blanc is wonderful with eggs, cheese, and Hollandaise sauce, making it ideal for quiche, omelets and Eggs Benedict. While fuller-bodied, Alsace Pinot Blanc won’t overwhelm the delicious egg flavours. There’s just enough edge on the wine, so its refreshing pear, apple and tropical fruit flavours to intertwine with your Eggs Benedict. Meanwhile, the creamy texture of Pinot Blanc plays perfectly beside the rich flavours of the Hollandaise sauce.
Pinot Blanc FAQ
Is Pinot Blanc Sweet?
No, Pinot Blanc is not sweet unless you pick up a specific dessert-style wine. In Austria, Pinot Blanc is made into a Trockenbeerenauslese, which is a sweet wine made from late harvest grapes. In the Okanagan region of British Columbia and the Niagara region of Ontario, you’ll find many delicious ice wine’s made from Pinot Blanc. Summerhill Pyramid Winery and Konzelmann Estate are two examples of this extremely sweet dessert wine.
Pinot Blanc vs Pinot Grigio
Pinot Blanc from Alsace is much more fleshier and full-bodied than Pinot Grigio as the Pinot Blanc will be oaked. When unoaked, Pinot Blanc is very similar to Pinot Grigio as both share peach, pear, smoke, and mineral notes. However, Pinot Grigio has more acidity and zippiness than an unoaked Pinot Blanc. Pinot Grigio is often much easier to find in stores and on wine lists due to its popularity.