Pinot Grigio versus Chardonnay

wine - la-tour-vailIt’s a showdown for the ages! People have been fighting over the issue for years, and the arguments around the dinner table are just terrible! Who could have foreseen that a mutant white grape could cause so many issues.

Okay, so that’s not strictly true. While there may be a few spirited debates, we’re not entirely sure that there are any sort of dinner table smackdowns occurring over the issue of Pinot Grigio versus Chardonnay. Frankly, we would tell anyone who was in an arguing mood to sit down and have a nice glass of their favorite white vintage. By the time they’ve finished their glass of wine, it’s quite possible they wouldn’t be in the mood to argue anymore.

There is no argument, really. Neither wine is better than the other, although they do both have their virtues. They pair well with different types of food, and they’re both great additions to your own personal wine list. If you want to experiment, we’ve got several incredible bottles of both wines on our wine list, and we’re happy to help you experience a new-to-you vintage.

When you’re trying to determine which wine to order with your meal, you should pay attention to what food you’re ordering. Stopping in for some light appetizers before a night out in Vail? Then you’ll want to order a chardonnay. If you’re in the mood for our Scottish Salmon, after a long day of skiing over some of Vail’s 5000 acres of trails, then try a Pinot Grigio.

The thing is, most people who don’t have a lot of experience with wine feel overwhelmed, or even intimidated, about ordering wine in a restaurant. They don’t want to make the wrong choice, or feel like the sommelier thinks they’re stupid. While wine does have its traditions, and some wine drinkers can be rather dedicated to those traditions, none of those traditions are intended to make the less-experienced wine drinker feel inept or uneducated.

If you walk into a restaurant and aren’t sure what wine to order with what entree, ask! If your server can’t give you a recommendation, he or she can generally bring over someone else in the restaurant who can. If you can’t get a recommendation without being made to feel stupid, then you have to ask yourself if the restaurant should be getting your patronage anyway. No experience is worth someone making you feel out of your league just because you want to try something new.

There’s also a big “drink what you want” movement within the wine drinking collective. While wine pairings are great, allowing you to choose a wine that complements the food you’re eating, there’s no rule that says you must drink white wine with chicken or red wine with beef. Wine pairings are suggestions, and while traditionalists may hold fast to them, you’re not in the wrong because you like to have red wine with chicken. Some folks prefer the taste of one type of wine over another, no matter what they’re eating.

When you’re trying to decide if you should order a Chardonnay or a Pinot Grigio, don’t be afraid to ask your server or the sommelier to recommend something for you. Not only can they give you some insight about what would go well with your food choices, they may be able to recommend specific vintages. That’s their job. You should be applauded for expanding your palette, never made to feel in the wrong because you weren’t sure what to order.