Are you confused about the distinct, and even subtle, differences among the most popular white wines? Are you a bit unsure which wine goes best with certain meals and why? Well, rest assured: it’s not as complicated as you might think. Here are the essential basics that will help you distinguish the unique differences and assist you in selecting the perfect bottle for your next meal.

Let’s start with the differences.

Difference Between Pinot Grigio vs Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the most consumed white wine in the world. Originating in France, this wine is typically dry and somewhat bold. The undertone flavors are the subtle taste of melon and pineapple. Chardonnay is often aged in oak, and this process can bring about the additional richness of vanilla or butter.

This wine pairs wonderfully with creamy, buttery sauces, mild cheeses like Brie, as well as shellfish. Imagine enjoying a succulent lobster tail dipped in melted butter while sipping a perfect glass of chardonnay.

It’s best not to ruin the richness of chardonnay by pairing it with intense or spiced foods. Remember to keep the pairing simple — keep it rich and keep the seasonings lowkey.

Pinot Grigio

Also originating in France, pinot grigio is a dry wine, like Chardonnay, but somewhat zestier by nature.

When sipping pinot grigio vs sauvignon blanc or chardonnay, you will detect citrus undertones as well as those of apple, pear, and even the slightest hint of honey.

The delicate nature of pinot grigio pairs perfectly with fish and seafood. The wine brings out the flavors of the meal, and vice versa. Consider a seafood salad or scampi with fettuccine. How about grilled salmon or a delicious baked halibut?

White wine on the table

Sauvignon Blanc

Typically, sauvignon blanc is a dry wine, but some vineyards leave a little sugar in the wine to alter the texture.

When you drink sauvignon blanc, you’ll taste undertones of peach, green apple, and lime. You might also be surprised to discover, that sauvignon blanc differs from the other white wines because of its aromatic undertones, like bell pepper, gooseberry, and grass.

This wine goes perfectly with mild vinaigrettes, cheese (especially goat cheese), pesto, and oysters.

Here’s a delicious recipe that pairs well with all three wine selections, with only moderate changes.

Creamy Garlic Bread Recipe

Take a loaf of French bread and slice it lengthwise. Spread it liberally with butter, top with freshly chopped garlic, a sprinkling of course sea salt, and a dash of dried oregano. Place the bread face up on a baking sheet, under the broiler, until it begins to bubble and the outside crust has turned slightly golden brown.

Note: Be sure to check on the bread. Many loaves of garlic bread have gone from undercooked to burned in a moment.

Now, here is where the recipe goes from good to great. Once you remove the bread from the oven, slowly pour heavy cream over the split loaf, allowing time for the liquid to soak in. Then, let the bread cool a few minutes before slicing.

You can go a little lighter on the garlic, and dismiss the oregano all together if serving this crusty goodness with a glass of chardonnay. Enjoy!

If you’re in the mood for a great glass of wine or a delicious cocktail, stop by High Bar. Besides delicious small plates, and a well-stocked bar, we also offer unforgettable views of the entire New York City skyline. You’ll find us on the rooftop of the Doubletree, located at 346 West 40th Street.

For reservations, just give us a call at 646.362.7363.