A Good Pinot Noir: Understanding and Enjoying This Classic Red Wine
A glass of pinot noir can be a wonderful complement to a wide variety of foods. If you’re new to the wine game, you should know a few things before enjoying a beautiful glass of Pinot Noir.
What is Pinot Noir?
Pinot Noir wine gains its name from the red-skinned grape used to make it. Pinot Noir is a rich red wine that has long been coveted for its versatility.
Depending on where it is grown, its terroir, and how it is cultivated, this delicious wine can range from bright and lively to full-bodied and rich. Pinot Noir delivers a fine acidity with smooth tannins for an exquisite experience.
Pinot Noir wines typically make use of red fruits and may highlight the following flavors and aromas:
- Black Currant
- Black Cherry
- Red Cherry
- Black Truffle
- Red Berries
- Forest Floor
Where does the Best Pinot Noir Come From?
While Pinot Noir grapes originally hail from the Burgundy region of France, French winemakers are no longer the sole producers of this delicious red wine.
Pinot Noir grapes are now grown all around the world to produce high-quality Pinot Noir wines, in places such as:
- New Zealand (specifically Otago and Marlborough)
- USA (specifically the Willamette Valley in Oregon, and the Russian River Valley, Rita Hills, Carneros, Sonoma County, Napa Valley, Monterey County, and Santa Barbara in California)
- France (Specifically Beaune and the Burgundian region)
Cool-climate Old World regions often produce earthier varietals and are usually aged in French oak, while warmer New World regions produce sweeter, medium-bodied, and more fruit-forward wines. While this might be a rule of thumb, it’s not always true. There are some New World regions that have cooler climates that grow Pinot Noir. So when selecting Pinot Noir, always be sure to be aware of the region.
What Does Pinot Noir Pair Well With?
This red wine can be found both in the wine cellars of the most avid wine enthusiasts and on the most modest of wine racks, mainly due to its lovely flavor profile and versatility.
Fruity blends like California Pinot Noir pair nicely with roasted chicken, pasta, and salmon. Earthier blends - such as a Bourgogne or Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir - pair well with pork, beef, stews, and wild mushrooms.
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