Pinot Noir is one of the most popular wines in the world. French monks are the earliest known cultivators of pinot noir, using the grapes to make wine since the 14th century. Featuring elaborate aromas, complexity, freshness, refined textures, silky tannins and finesse, even if you are not a seasoned wine drinker, chances are you’ll enjoy a glass of this wine.
What Kind of Wine Is Pinot Noir?
Pinot Noir wines are made using a black-skinned grape that is also called pinot noir. Although best known for making red wine, pinot noir is one of the few red wine grapes that are also used to produce roses, white wines and sparkling wines like Champagne. As a matter of fact, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are mutations of the pinot noir grape, so it’s all in the family. The Pinot Noir grape is today grown around the world, particularly in areas with cool climates.
Whether it’s from France, Italy, Germany, Tasmania, New Zealand, Western Australia, Victoria, USA or Chile, Aussies have really become obsessed with Pinot Noir wine. This explains the many festivals around the country to celebrate this incredibly delicate but complex grape.
There are a number of reasons to try the exquisite range of Pinot Noir wines, but here are the top 3.
Perfect for Ageing and Combining It With Food
While Pinot Noir is often considered the lighter of the red grape varietal, it’s really complex and has a lot of tannins. This is thanks to the bunch of fermentation winemakers do when making the wine. Winemakers add the stems, seeds, everything into the crusher and this creates a drying sensation at the front of the month and the structure adds to Pinots remarkable ability to age.
The natural acid and tannin in Pinot Noir also make it a great wine to pair with food, particularly more fatty foods like duck, pasta, cheese – all of the good stuff.
Unique Character Due to the Different Terroir
A Pinot Noir from France will be herbaceous and light and earth with picked cherries. A Pinot Noir from Italy will be tobacco, smoke, clove and white pepper. The one made in Germany will be earthy, but with more hints of raspberry and fresh cherry. From Australia and New Zealand, it’ll be sweeter fruit and gamey. From South America, it will be really floral like roses, violets and vanilla rather than fruit. Being susceptible to regionality is what many love about the Pinot Noir wine.
The Healthiest Wine You Can Drink
Pinot Noir wine has the highest concentration of antioxidant resveratrol and this makes it the healthiest choice among red wines. The properties of the resveratrol’s antioxidant are known to prevent cartilage break down and this can help alleviate joint pain.
But resveratrol isn’t the only reason for choosing Pinot Noir over another type of red. While most wines have almost no residual sugar, Pinot Noir typically has a lower initial sugar level before fermentation, which results in a wine with less alcohol and fewer calories than, for example, an average Cabernet.
How to Enjoy Pinot Noir Wine?
To make the most of your pinot noir wine, there are some techniques that you can use. Let’s check them out.
The Right Serving Temperature
When it comes to how to serve pinot noir wine, contrary to what many think, serving it at room temperature isn’t always a good idea. Room temperature can be too warm and can cause the wine to taste bitter, flabby and over alcoholic.
While full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon are fine served at room temp, fruity reds like Pinot Noir, are best to serve a bit cooler, at 12-15 degrees. Chill your bottle in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes before serving. Allow the wine to sit in the bottle to breathe for about 10 minutes before drinking it.
And if you want to take your Pinot Noir with you on the go, pour it in an insulated wine tumbler to keep it at the right temperature.
The Best Food Pairings
Pinot Noir’s light to medium body, bright acidity, and delightful red berry flavours pair perfectly with lighter meat proteins, such as chicken, pork, fish and duck. Bruschetta makes a delicious appetizer as do herb crackers topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon. For vegan options, you can’t get wrong with mushrooms – think ravioli, risotto, or grilled portobellos. You can also try roasted asparagus or eggplant.
As for cheese pairings, goat cheese, brie and camembert are options that complement Pinot’s velvet mouthfeel and fruit-forward flavours. For dessert, anything with chocolate is a winner.
Thy type of wine glass you use makes a big difference in how you taste the wine. According to experts, the shape of a glass affects how wine vapour rises, thus affecting the taste and aroma of the wine. What type of wine glasses for pinot noir, you may ask? A Burgundy glass is ideal. Its wider brim and bowl than a standard red wine glass offers more space to let the wine aerate and express its delicate flavours.