The raw material: The white Pinot family

Grape to Meet You: The white Pinot family
Start by comparing Chardonnay’s first two cousins Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. When making your purchases, select from the same producer and vintage. You’ll find many examples of these two Pinots from Alsace in France as well as Friuli-Venezia Giulia in northeastern Italy. See if you can distinguish the difference in color, fragrance, and weight between the Pinot Blanc and the Pinot Gris. The Pinot Gris will have more color (thanks to the pink skins), fragrance, and weight than the Blanc. The Pinot Blanc will be a paler version of Chardonnay.
As for cousin number three, Melon, try a ‘salty’ Muscadet from the Loire. 

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