For wine enthusiasts who like their red wines fragrant and light, Pinot Noir is a perfect choice. The red wine is the most romanticized globally, as it invokes worship and emotion from a huge following. The wine even has an entire movie based on it called Sideways, and festivals are held yearly to honour it.
Even if it’s well-known as being difficult to grow, it is produced all over the world in any place where wine is being grown.
Origin, Popularity and Relationship with other Grapes
Pinot Noir originated from Burgundy in France, a region well-known for other top grapes, including Chardonnay. In France, most winegrowers and producers don't add the name of the grape variety like Pinot Noir to the label, but instead, it will include the region where it was made, and in this case, that is Burgundy.
Pinot Noir created in Burgundy has a forest flavor where you can smell damp leaves as you take a sip. You can also taste hints of sweet black cherries, mushrooms and ripe red berries.
It is very hard to grow Pinot Noir, regardless of where it is being grown. For one, it is vulnerable to different viticulture hazards and can easily rot, because of its thin skin and how they grow packed together in clusters. Because of these tight clusters, there is restricted airflow in between the grapes and this leads to unequal repining. It does well in cool regions because of its thin skin, and in warmer climates, winegrowers use canopy management to protect the grapes from the sun.
Although it originates in Burgundy, it is grown in other areas of France like Champagne, where it is one of the three most grapes in the region. Pinot Noir is used in Blancs de Noir wines, a variant of white sparkling wines that are used with red grapes. They also grow in Loire Valley and is used in rosé Sancerre, and Alsace as the only red grape allowed to grow.
There is increasing use of Pinot Noir in creating rosé, especially for those who like dry, varietal wines. Rosé made with this grape usually features delicious flavors of watermelon, strawberry and pomegranate, with bright acidity.
Pinot Noir as a Wine
The perfect drinking temperature for Pinot Noir is around 55°F when it is slightly chilled. It does not need to be decanted and tastes best when you serve it right out of the bottle. Although the wine can be aged for up to eight years, you can only drink Pinot Noir within a day if you want to drink it fresh. Even the glass you drink it from determines how best you enjoy the aroma.
The wine can be paired with all types of foods because of its light body, excellent tannins and complicated structure. Those that are produced in warmer climates have a fruiter taste and are best for all kinds of seafood or fatty fish.
It also tastes great when you pair it with vegetable dishes, like carrots and cauliflower, as they match the elegant nature of the wine. If you want something traditional, meat dishes are the best.