April 23, 2020 by Alyssa Taylor

Pinot Noir

Pronounced: pee-no-nwar; AKA: Pinot Nero, Spätburgunder (Germany), Blauburgunder (Austria)

This elusive and delicate light-bodied grape is a winegrowers dream, but can be difficult to achieve as Pinot Noir is susceptible to a variety of diseases, making it difficult to grow. Stubborn, yet flirtatious, Pinot Noir is somewhat tantalizing creating a beautiful dance between the grape and the winemaker. The resulting light red wine can be nothing short of spectacular. Loved for its red fruit and spicy characteristics, its also a great food partner.

Common aromas and flavors: Cherry, Raspberry, Mushroom, Hibiscus, Clove, Vanilla; However, this can vary greatly depending on the vintage and where it grown.

Indicators and Descriptors: Pale – Medium Ruby, Dry, Aromatic, Medium-bodied, Medium-High Acidity, Low Tannins

Significant Growing Regions: Pinot Noir generally prefers intermediate, continental climates with long, cool growing seasons. That is why we often find Pinot Noir grown within protected valleys or near large bodies of water. Look for these places: Burgundy, France, Coastal California, Oregon; Germany, New Zealand, Italy, and Australia.

Food Pairings: Pinot Noir is everyone’s best friend. It is light enough to pair some fish like Salmon, but complex enough to stand up to Duck and strong earthy-flavored dishes. If you’re ever in a pinch at a restaurant with multiple meal options, or need to pick up a bottle for your friend’s dinner party, sticking with Pinot Noir is a great way to go! We love it with: Duck, Salmon, BBQ, Turkey, Pork Roast, Roasted Chicken, Tacos, Charcuterie; For veggies: Mushrooms, Beets, Eggplant, Truffles, Root Vegetables

How to Serve: Pinot Noir is great red wine to try with a sight chill. It can handle a little bit of a cooler temperature than that of room temp, ideally between 55-60°F (12-15°C). The slightly cooler temperature highlights the aromatic profile while keeping the alcohol from overwhelming the senses. If you are fascinated with varietal-specific glassware, try drinking Pinot Noir out of glass with a wide bowl and narrower rim. It allows the wine to breathe and funnels the nuanced aromas straight to your nose.

Fun Facts:

  • Pinot Noir is older than Cabernet Sauvignon… by over 1,000 years! This grape goes all the way back to the Roman era. Currently with over 1,000 registered clones, the grape’s genetic instability and constant evolution is a true testament to its old age.
  • While most people associate Pinot Noir with its age-worthy red wines, this grape is also a key component to making some of the world’s finest sparkling wines (i.e. Champagne).
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