If you're a fan of red wine, there's a good chance you've tried Pinot Noir.
It's one of the most popular types around, and for good reason – it's delicious! But do you know what makes a Pinot Noir so special?
In this post, we'll take a closer look at the grape type and explore its origins and some of its unique characteristics. So pour yourself a glass and get ready to learn more about your favourite drink!
What Is Pinot Noir & Where Is It Grown?
Pinot Noir (Pronounced "PEE-noh NWAHR") is a grape variety most frequently used for red wines.
The name "Pinot Noir" comes from the French word for "pine" and "Noir" from the French word for "black", referring to the grape's small, dark berries.
This black grape is a very dark bluish colour. It is a thin-skinned grape, which means it is low in tannins and has a softer flavour than other red wines.
Pinot Noir wines are typically lighter-bodied than other reds and have flavours of berries, cherries, and sometimes even roses. These wines can be enjoyed young or cellared for a few years to allow their flavours to develop further complexity.
The best Pinot Noirs come from Burgundy, France, but the grape is also grown in Oregon, California, New Zealand, and Chile.
The Pinot Family
The Pinot Noir is part of the Pinot family of grape varieties that includes some of the most widely planted and well-known grapes in the world.
Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are both white wine grapes, while Pinot Noir is a red wine grape. Pinot Meunier is a black grape that is often used in blending.
The pinot family is believed to be descended from a wild grape that was native to the Burgundy region of France. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted member of the Pinot family, and it is used to make some of the most highly prized red wines in the world.
Why Are Pinot Noir Wines So Expensive?
Simply put, Pinot noir grapes are notoriously finicky, and the wine made from them can be equally temperamental. That's part of what makes Pinot Noirs so special - and so expensive.
Pinot Noir wines are some of the most highly sought-after in the world, with top bottles fetching hundreds, even thousands, of pounds. But what makes these wines so special - and so pricey?
Part of it is the challenge of growing Pinot Noir grapes. The grape is notoriously difficult to cultivate, and even the slightest inconsistency in climate can yield an inferior crop. As a result, there is a limited supply of high-quality Pinot Noir grapes, which drives up the price of the finished wine.
In addition, Pinot Noir wines are often aged for longer periods than other varieties, which adds to their cost. But for many aficionados, the taste is worth the price tag!
How Does Pinot Noir Taste?
Pinot Noir is one of the dry red wines and is usually lighter-bodied than other reds. It has high acidity, which can make it taste tart, and its flavours can range from floral to earthy.
Pinot Noir is often compared to other dry red wines like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, but it tends to be more delicate and have more subtle flavours.
When it comes to sweetness, Pinot Noir is on the dry side, so if you're looking for a sweet wine, you might want to try something else.
However, some Pinot Noirs can have a hint of sweetness which is dependent on the production method used.
What Food Pairings Go Best With Pinot Noir?
Pinot Noir is known to pair well with many foods, hence it is considered a "beginner-friendly" wine.
Since Pinot Noir is a dry wine, you'll want to avoid pairing it with anything too sweet.
Instead, go for dishes with subtle flavours that will allow the dryness of the wine to shine through. Generally speaking, Pinot Noir pairs well with dishes like steak, roasted chicken, and casseroles.
And of course, cheese! Dry red wines like Pinot Noir are usually best paired with sharp, nutty cheeses like Gruyere, Abbaye de Belloc or Zamorano.
How Should I Serve Pinot Noir?
Pinot noirs are best served slightly chilled at a temperature of around 16 degrees. If you've been storing it at room temperature, leave it in the refrigerator for about 2 hours before serving.
What Are Some Good Pinot Noir Wines To Try?
Sanford Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2019
This dry Sanford Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir wine has flavours of sweet cherry fruit and spices, with a touch of earthiness. The acidity is bright and juicy, making it a great food wine.
This wine pairs well with roast chicken or grilled salmon. The 2019 vintage received high scores from wine critics, so be sure to snag a bottle (or two) before it's all gone!
Domaine Serene, Grace Vineyard, Dundee Hills, Oregon 2017
If you're in the mood for a dry and deliciously sweet Pinot Noir, the Domaine Serene, Grace Vineyard, Dundee Hills, Oregon 2017 is your perfect pick. This wine is bursting with flavours of black cherry and raspberry and has a velvety smooth finish. Best of all, it's affordable, so you can enjoy it without breaking the bank. Cheers to that!
Bolney Estate Pinot Noir
Bolney Wine Estate is a family-owned vineyard and winery in Sussex, England, best known for its Pinot Noir. This English Pinot Noir is dry with hints of red fruits and spice. It pairs well with a variety of dishes, making it a versatile choice for any wine lover or beginner. Thanks to the cool climate of Sussex, the Pinot Noir grapes are able to retain their acidity, resulting in a refreshingly crisp wine. So whether you're looking for a dry red to pair with your steak or a light red to enjoy on its own, Bolney Pinot Noir is sure to hit the spot.
Grab your bottle today.
2016 Domaine Arnaud Ente Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Burgundy
The 2016 Domaine Arnaud Ente Bourgogne Pinot Noir is a delicious red wine from the Burgundy region of France. This particular vintage has received rave reviews from critics, and it's easy to see why. The Burgundy Pinot Noir has notes of cherry and violet, with a hint of spice on the finish. It's well-balanced and elegant, with just the right amount of acidity. If you're looking for that special bottle of wine to share with friends or family, this is definitely one to consider!
2016 Littorai Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
We're headed towards luxury! The 2016 Littorai Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a delicious red wine that belongs to the pinot family. This Californian Pinot Noir has a light, delicate flavour with hints of cherry and raspberry. A great example of the pinot family's ability to produce beautiful, delicious wines. Thanks, Littorai!
So, What Did We Learn About Pinot Noir?
It’s a versatile grape that can be used to make red wines, with fruity and earthy tones.
Did You Know?
We also stock many English Pinot Noir wines in our shop, so why not have a browse and look? We also stock a variety of sparkling wine as well as gift sets for wine lovers. Have a look here today!