I have to tell you I am really loving pinot noir these days. It’s light but full of flavor, boasts beautiful aromas and pairs well with most foods. The only down side is pinot noirs tend to be a bit pricier than other varietals . If you want a decent pinot you are looking at spending $15+, and expect to shell out at least $30+ for a good one. That said, if you know what you like you can be an educated consumer and make your hard earned dollars count. Some helpful tips below…next stop, Master Somm.
Regions are everything with pinot noir, here is what you should know when reaching for a bottle…
- Oregon: cranberries and dirt, the lightest of all the regions
- California: dark cherry and vanilla sometimes with oak from barrel aging
- Burgundy: to me it tastes like eating the earth, tart cherry and ground (dirt, twigs, and greens combo…not my thing, but if it’s yours you should buy from Burgundy)
- Other regions growing pinot if you want to be adventurous are Italy, Argentina, Germany (look for the Ahr region) and New Zealand.
FUN IDEA ALERT: Next time you get together with a group of friends assign people a region to buy a good bottle of pinot noir. Spend at least $20+, but know that $30 is usually the benchmark between good and great and this is one varietal where it makes a difference. Open them up and do a side by side tasting. You will be amazed at the differences you notice based on the regions the grapes are from. Flavors, acidity, alcohol levels will all vary and you will most likely have a strong preference towards one style over the others. The best part is you will walk away knowing what region to look for when shopping for future bottles.
Featured Wine: Francis Coppola Reserve Pinot Noir 2012, Dutton Ranch – Russian River Valley, 14.5% Alcohol, sold at Coppola Winery for $38.00