Pinot Noir Taste Profile

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

Pinot Noir grapes on vines.

The Pinot Noir taste profile is made up of a unique combination of color, flavors, aromas, and structure. These elements are referred to as wine characteristics. Pinot Noir has hallmark characteristics that will help you identify the wine by sight, smell and taste and you won’t even have to look at the bottle.

Unique Characteristics

Each type of wine grape develops a unique combination of flavors and aromas. These flavors and aromas are influenced by things like their growing environment (climate and soil – aka terroir), the fermentation process (aka yeast converting sugar to alcohol), and maturation (such as aging in oak barrels).

Pinot Noir is a grape that grows best in cooler climates like Burgundy, France and Willamette Valley, Oregon.


The color for red wine ranges from Pale Red to Bright Ruby Red to Deep Purple. Red wine color comes from the grape skins. Grapes with thin skins and light skin color will translate to a pale red wine and will be translucent (you’ll be able to see through the wine). Grapes with thick skins and dark skin color will translate to a deep purple wine color that is opaque (in other words you won’t be able to see much of anything through the wine).

Image that shows the color range for red wine of Pale Red, Deep Rudy, and Deep Purple. Pinot Noir is identified as Pale Red in color.

Pinot Noir Wine Color: Pale red and translucent.

Pinot Noir is a thin-skinned grape with light skin color. This one characteristic sets Pinot apart from many of the other red wines out there.

Flavors & Aromas

Look for Fruit, Floral, Herbal, Vegetal, and Spice notes to identify flavors and aromas in wine.