8 White Wines You Should Buy Instead of Pinot Grigio

“Where can I find a nice Pinot Grigio?” is a common refrain in every wine shop—and with good reason. The dry, nicely acidic, citrus-forward Italian white pairs well with nearly everything, and also drinks well on its own. But maybe the next time you’re looking for an inexpensive dry white to have with seafood (or popcorn, or Ben & Jerry’s), try one of these instead.

1. Château de la Presle, 2013

Young, dry Sauvignon Blancs from the upper Loire Valley are inexpensive, while still having the soft tartness of more expensive Pinot Grigios—you can get a real fancy label for less than $20. | Average price: $11
Photo from Cook Angels

2. Keo - Aprodite NV

Wine from Cyprus is often overlooked (the culprit? Weird grape names and boring labels), but this apricot and dry hay-scented white from the Xynisteri grape is worth considering. | Average price: $13
Photo from Alphamega

3. Santa Maria la Palma - Aragosta Vermentino di Sardegna, 2013

Sardinia is often accused of producing bland, sweet, and quite frankly, uninteresting reds, but Vermentino was actually the island’s first DOCG (and gift to the wine world). This particular Vermentino is smooth and laced with a nice bitter edge that complements seafood. | Average price: $10
Photo from La Bufala

4. Wölffer Estate - Classic White Table Wine, 2013

Growing non-American vines in the harsh winters of the Finger Lakes in New York is difficult, but this blend of Chardonnay, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer proves it’s worth it. Lots of zesty fruit up front and great minerality in the finish. |  Average price: $14
Photo from Wine Searcher

5. Château Petit Roubié - Picpoul de Pinet, 2012

Though slightly fuller-bodied than your typical Pinot Grigio, this lively white from the funny little village of Pinet has the bright zippiness (and quirky lemon flavor) of the region’s indigenous Picpoul grape. | Average price: $13
Photo from Candid Wines

6. Avinyó - Pettilant Vi d’Agulla, 2013

A dry, zesty Muscat sounds like an oxymoron, but hear me out. The Spanish have long used the Macabeo grape to lighten hefty reds, but they now use the grape to punch up a typically sweet Muscat. The result is this pairs-with-everything blend. | Average price: $14
Photo from The Kitchy Kitchen

7. Franz Etz - Grüner Veltliner, 2013

Can’t overlook the obvious: The best part about Grüner will always be that it’s typically a liter bottle, and sealed with a bottle cap that’s easy to remove. But you’d be remiss to not also praise its bright flavors and refreshing minerality. | Average price: $13
Photo from CompareCamp

8. Pine Ridge - Chenin Blanc–Viognier 2013

Pairing well with spicy tacos, hard cheese, or just Netflix, this blend from Napa, California, is just about the most versatile on this list. | Average price: $13
Photo from sports-glutton.com

THE EXCEPTION: Fantinel - Pinot Grigio "Borgo Tesis," 2013

If I could alter the title of this list, it would be “Stop buying Pinot Grigio—unless it’s this one.” This perfectly dry—dare we say, slightly tannic—Italian Pinot Grigio has hints of citrus and the slightly smoky floral notes that most under-$20 Pinots dream of. | Average price: $13
Photo from Vivino; header image from Mother Fitness

Kelley Peters is a Brooklyn-based wine writer and educator. She still sometimes gets confused in wine shops.

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