Pinot Noir

Pee-no nwar

Parents & Origin: Pinot grape (Burgundy, France)
Grape: Red-skinned variety of the species Vitis vinifera
Flavors: Cherry, Raspberry, Clove, Mushroom, Hibiscus
Notable Regions: France, US, Germany, Moldova, Italy
Sweetness: Dry
Body: Medium
Tannins: Low
Acidity: Medium-High
ABV: 11.5-13.5%

The History of Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is one of the oldest grapes in the world, dating back to more than 1,000 years before Cabernet Sauvignon. The grape was regularly enjoyed in the Roman times amongst others that are now extinct. The writer Columella describes the Pinot Noir grape in the 1st CE in Burgundy, France, but the vines grew as far North as Belgium.

Pinot Noir is especially primed for mutations and because the grape is so ancient, there are hundreds of different clones across the globe. More than 50 are officially recognized in France. The highest of quality grapes can be found in France and surprisingly, Oregon, USA.

Interesting Fact: Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Blanc grapes all have the same DNA-- they are just mutations of the Pinot grape. Even though Pinot Noir is a red and Pinot Grigio and Pinot Blanc are whites!

Pinot Noir Food Pairings

Pinot Noir is unique in the sense that it can be enjoyed with almost any food! The light alcohol content also boasts you can enjoy a glass all on its own.

The Best Pinot Noir Food Pairings

Since the Pinot Noir is so versatile, the preparations of food to be paired with are as well. It pairs nicely with cooked proteins, earthy (especially root) vegetables, and bright red to black fruits such as cranberries, cherries, and plums. Duck, salmon, stews, mushrooms, pork, and tomato-based sauces are especially lovely with your favorite Pinot Noir.

Food Pairings to Avoid With Pinot Noir

Since Pinot Noir has a beautiful versatility, it’s difficult to find a bad experience with it. General rules are to avoid elaborate-fatty dishes and extremely spicy food that can burn through its daintiness.

Pinot Noir Tasting Notes

There is no classic style to the Pinot Noir, but a high-quality bottle should be medium-bodied, hold enough tannins to provide structure, have a high acidity, and possess notes of berries, herbs, and florals. Despite being on the lighter side of the red grape spectrum, Pinot Noir can withhold in new or old oak aging-- but that decision is based on the producer rather than the region.

Pinot Noir’s Particular Soil

Pinot Noir is one of the most coveted wines in the world, but this does not imply it is the easiest to grow. For a successful vine the soil should be well-drained and either limestone or clay-based. It is possible to grow the grape in fertile soils but this results in a higher alcohol level and less distinct flavor palette, which is why inexpensive and mass-marketed distributors prefer to grow their Pinot Noir in this heavily accessible soil.

Pinot Noir is not Thick Skinned

The Pinot Noir grape is extremely prone to sunburn and splits because it is so thin-skinned. It is also of early-budding nature and therefore highly susceptible to late-season frosts. The most ideal climate is long, cool growing seasons. It would be unwise and difficult to grow the Pinot Noir grape in warm and sunny atmospheres.

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Our Selection of Pinot Noir

  • France: 2018 Racine Pinot Noir Pays D'Oc - A delicious little gem from the South of France that shares wonderful aromas of red berries and rose. Light and soft on the palate, this food-friendly selection from Bruno Lafon refreshes with fruity cherry flavors, silky tannins, and a long, fresh finish.
  • Chile: 2019 El Vigia Family Reserva Pinot Noir - Made by Sergio Correa Undurraga, 2018 El Vigia Pinot Noir was estate-bottled in Chile’s Maul Valley. Pour a glass and keep your taste buds on the lookout for sophisticated notes of strawberries, soft smoke, and spices, with ripe fruits blending with the oak to offer a perfect finish. This wine is perfect with smoked foods, green salads, mushrooms, chicken, and soft cheeses.
  • New Zealand: 2018 Goldridge Reserve Pinot Noir - This elegant Pinot Noir from the Marlborough region shows a complex nose full of earthy blackberry, dark plum and licorice notes. It's a complex, fresh wine with an enduring finish.
  • California: 2015 OM Clarksburg Pinot Noir - This robust and spiritual California red offers divine flavors of wild red berries, ripe pomegranate, and a hint of cola.

You can view our entire collection of Pinot Noir here!

Pinot Noir in a Nutshell

Since its establishment in Roman times dating back to further than the 1st CE, the love and dedication to Pinot Noir has been constant and spread throughout every region. Almost every winemaker, including the ones living in warm and sunny climates, attempt growing their own mutation of the Pinot Noir vine. Its notes of cherry, herbs, and florals impress every red wine enthusiast and makes the wine a world fan-favorite. Enjoyable with most foods or even on its own, you will never be disappointed with the versatile Pinot Noir.

Ready to learn more? Don't forget to check out our other wine guides:

Learn About Pinot Noir Wine
Learn About Merlot Wine