Welcome to this Week’s Installment of Wine on Wednesday! This Week’s Featured Wine: Pinot Noir
Last week on Wine on Wednesday we learned more about the rich, bold flavor of Red Zinfandel. This week’s Wine on Wednesday focus is on another red wine varietal, Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir (pronounced PEE-know Na-WAHR) is one of the most difficult grapes to grow, as it requires very specific climate and is often susceptible to mildew and plant viruses. Because of this, Pinot Noir is produced in smaller quantities than other varietals, and can also tend to be a little more expensive as a result.
Pinot Noir is a smooth, medium bodied wine. It has a good amount of tannin, but not as much of a pucker as Cabernet Sauvignon or Red Zinfandel; Pinot Noir tends to be a little softer than these wine varietals (see our Introduction to Wine on Wednesday for more information about tannins).
Fruit flavors you’re likely to find in a Pinot Noir are primarily cranberry, cherry and raspberry, but you may also find hints of strawberry and blackberry as well. In addition to the fruit flavors, you may find notes of licorice, clove, vanilla, cola, even tobacco and mushroom!
Let’s talk about food pairing for Pinot Noir. One thing I really like about Pinot Noir is that it pairs well with many different types of food. Red wine tends to pair best with red meat and heavier dishes, but because Pinot is smoother and more medium bodied, it can be paired with lighter dishes, white meat like chicken and salmon, but still goes well with the traditional red wine food pairing. Because of the clove and spice that can be found in Pinot Noir, it can also pair well with lots of ethnic dishes.
Now that we’ve learned a little more about Pinot Noir, could this be a good choice for you? Pinot Noir is a great choice for someone who likes the richness and depth of flavor in a red wine, but prefers a little softer, more subtle flavor. This can also be a great red wine for someone looking to start drinking red wine; it can be a great entry into the red wine world. It can tend to have a little more of an earthy flavor depending on the winemaker, so if that’s not your preferred flavor, look for wines that boast fruit flavor notes or vanilla or spice notes.
Here are a few of my favorite Pinot Noir winemakers:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s installment of Wine on Wednesday! Stay tuned for next week’s installment!