PINOT NOIR

Pinot Noir is one of the most versatile wines on the list. This is my go-to for just about any situation. On the one hand, it’s a great sipping wine that doesn’t have to be paired with any food. On the other, it goes perfectly with Salmon or a juicy steak. Good to know when you’re selecting a bottle for the table and your dinner companions have ordered across the menu.

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PINOT NOIR
TOP REGIONS

Pinot Noir has a reputation as one of the most finicky grapes to grow. They take a lot of care and attention. Their thin skins make them more susceptible to disease and they are a low yielding grape, which means there is not much room for error.

FRANCE

Burgundy is in the eastern-central part of France. There are two main varieties of grapes grown in the region – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Red Burgundy is Pinot Noir and White Burgundy is Chardonnay. There are other grapes grown here, but we’ll save those details for another time.

OREGON

Oregon’s Willamette Valley has a nice cool climate for growing Pinot Noir. This is the most planted grape in Oregon and really shines in this area of the country.

CALIFORNIA

California’s Sonoma County and Mendocino County located just north of San Francisco is a warm climate. But the soil and coastal location provide the right combination for these fickle grapes.

NEW ZEALAND

The southern regions of New Zealand provide the perfect cool climate for Pinot Noir. It’s the 2nd most planted variety in the country right behind Sauvignon Blanc.

PINOT NOIR
TASTING RECOMMENDATIONS

The best way to become familiar with wine is to taste it. Select Pinot Noir from each of the top 4 regions in the world and compare.

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Link to these filtered pages for top Pinot Noir regions on Wine.com.

FRANCE: BURGUNDY

NEW ZEALAND: MARLBOROUGH

PINOT NOIR
TASTING NOTES

When tasting the wine, follow these three tasting steps to become familiar with the typical taste profile. You can even have some of the food pairing suggestions on hand to see how they work together.

SEE

Take your glass and tilt it over a white napkin or paper. Compare the color across all regions. If you put your fingers between the glass and the napkin, is the wine translucent or opaque?


TASTING PROFILE:  Light ruby, a bit translucent.

SNIFF

Let’s see how aromatic this wine is. Hold your glass at your chest and see if you can catch any scent. Then move it to your chin and try to smell. Then really put your nose in the glass and take a big sniff. What scents do you catch? Swirl the wine and then sniff again. What scents do you catch now?


TASTING PROFILE:  Not an aromatic grape. With nose in the glass, you’ll get cherry, blackberry, cranberry, vanilla, currant, and rose scents.

TASTE

Take a taste and swirl it in your mouth. What flavors do you taste? After you swallow, how long does the flavor linger and how would you describe those flavors?

TASTING PROFILE:

  • Fruit:  Light fruit flavors of cherry and raspberry.

  • Acidity (tart, sour):  Medium to high levels.

  • Sweetness:  Dry.

  • Tannin (dry, bitter):  Medium to low levels.

  • Body (weight, mouthfeel):  Light to medium body.

  • Alcohol:  13.5-14.5% ABV

  • Oak:  Pinot spends time aging in oak which gives hints of vanilla and toast.

EASY RATING SYSTEM

After you taste each wine, give it a rating using this easy rating system. Add notes to help remember what you liked or didn’t like about the wine.


5pts   Love!
4pts   Like
3pts   Good, but not great
2pts   Meh
1pt     Not for me

PINOT NOIR
FOOD & CHEESE PAIRINGS

Find simple tips for pairing food and cheese with Pinot Noir. You can even incorporate some of these foods with your wine tasting. Explore the flavors and see how it changes the taste of your wine.

LEARN MORE ABOUT
THE NOBLE GRAPES

Do a deeper exploration of these wines. Find out about the top regions and conduct a varietal specific tasting. For example, line up Pinot Noir from each of the top regions and compare.

More About Pinot Noir
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