What is pinot noir and how does it taste?
Though not as popular as cabernet sauvignon, enthusiasts of pinot noir would insist that it stands above all other red wine varietals. It is fruit driven, offering strawberry, cherry, and berry flavors. You can find exotic baking spices in better examples, or a forest floor note, an autumnal or woodsy element in other examples. Some of the best bottles will even taste of rose petals or violets. For its devoted, diehard fans, what sets pinot apart, along with its concentration and persistence of flavors, is its silky texture, its haunting perfume, and its lightness of touch.
Where is pinot noir grown?
Pinot noir, unlike cabernet sauvignon, is a temperamental varietal that thrives only on sunny yet cool sites. Burgundy and its Grand Cru vineyards are where the varietal first found fame. Oregon has proven to be an excellent site for the varietal. New Zealand is also producing riveting, world class examples. As is California, especially along the coast. And Chile is emerging as another source for tasty examples, as young and ambitious producers are trying their hand with this heartbreak varietal.
Some popular pinot noir producers:
What food pairs well with pinot noir?
Lighter bodied or fruit driven versions of pinot noir will shine with charcuterie, ham, or salmon and tuna. Fuller bodied pinots pair beautifully with roasted chicken, goose, duck, even a simply chargrilled steak or mushroom risotto. And a mature pinot noir such as an older vintage of Burgundy was made for truffles.