Answering those questions you were too shy, or drunk, to ask... This one comes from Sara:
So, here's my dumb question: What is the difference
between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio? I've always wanted to know. Is it
just the type of grapes used to make the wine? A different process? Something
I love these kinda questions because it reminds me of just how confusing wine can be, and how easy it is for we pros to take little bits of knowledge for granted. So no, it's not a dumb question. My short answer: Same grape, different style.
Italian Pinot Grigio is the epitome of what an Italian white wine should be--dry, light and crisp with a hit of acidic fruit. If you see a bottle of wine that uses the word "Grigio" but is not from Italy, it should taste like the Italian versions of this grape.
If you see "Pinot Gris" on the label, the wine will often seem less aggressively dry, maybe even a little sweet. It will feel heavier in your mouth, like it has a coating action. Oregon and Alsace, France are the common producers of this style. Think of it as the pear to Grigio's apple. Both are refreshing and crisp, but everything about a pear seems softer, and less tangy than an apple.