Pinot noir is a type of wine that comes from the Burgundy region in France.
Pinot noir wines tend to be light-bodied but low in tannin content.
The grape skins are left on during production, which gives it its unique flavor.
This article will go into “what pinot noir is” and “what does pinot noir taste like” so you can enjoy your next bottle.
What is Pinot Noir?
Pinot Noir is a varietal of red wine grapes that has a deep purple color.
It is usually made from a blend of mainly Pinot Noir grapes and contains other grape varieties such as Syrah or even Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
The name means “black pinecone” in French because it was said these dark berries looked like little black pinecones hanging on the vine long before they were harvested for winemaking purposes.
Pinot noir is the grape used to make four different types of single varietal wine-red, rosé, white, and sparkling.
Pinot noir is also found in various blended wines, including Champagne, blended rosé, and Sancerre.
Where is Pinot Noir Grown?
Pinots are grown mostly within eastern France’s Beaujolais wine district; they’re also found throughout smaller regions such as Alsace and Burgundy.
Pinot Noir can also be found in Oregon, New Zealand, and Australia.
The Pinots from these regions are typically lighter than those grown in France because they’re made from grapes that have been harvested earlier.
Outside of Europe, California’s wine-growing regions of Sonoma, the Russian River Valley, and the Central Coast are well known for their pinot noir production.
Oregon also produces a grape called pinot noir.
Is Pinot Noir Sweet or Dry?
Pinot noir is often said to be the wine for people who don’t like wines.
Pinot noir is often characterized as a light-bodied wine that has delicate tannins.
It can be fruity, spicy, earthy, or floral but usually does not have much oak aroma because it gets less barrel aging than Cabernet Sauvignon counterparts.
Pinots are easy to drink and smooth for those who like these qualities in their drinks.
What Does Pinot Noir Taste Like?
Pinot noir has various flavors depending on where the grapes are grown, from sweet black cherries to earthy mushrooms.
Pinot noirs also differ in having lower tannins than other red wine varieties, making them taste fresh and complex.
Pinot noir wines from California have more berry flavors with hints of spice like cinnamon or chocolate.
At the same time, those from France are earthier with forest floor-like qualities such as mushrooms and leathery sensations.
Pinot noir from Oregon has a classic berry taste that is often paired with chocolate or raspberry and can be found in the hands of winemakers such as Caymus, which produces wine rated highly among critics.
Some wines have spicy notes, including cinnamon and tobacco, while others may be more fruity with strawberry or raspberry flavor profiles.
Pinot noirs are an excellent wine for pairing with lighter fare such as fish, poultry, or pasta.
Merlot vs Pinot Noir
Pinot and merlot are both grapes that produce red wine.
The difference is in how the grapes are grown and also their flavors.
Merlot grape production tends to be higher quality than pinot’s because they’re more resistant against high acidity levels found in soils of certain climates such as France or Italy.
Merlot is darker in color with tasting notes of dark fruits like blackberries.
Some people may call it “velvet,” which sounds rich enough to make you want a glass right now.
On the contrary, Pinot Noir has a lighter coloring than its counterpart because it retains more acidity from fermentation that balances out sweet flavors such as raspberries.
Merlot is best known for being blended with other wines in the production of red wine.
It is best to enjoy Pinot noir as a single-varietal wine because the delicate nature does not fare well when blended with other grape varieties.
How to Drink Pinot Noir?
Pinot Noir can be a tricky grape to get right.
To make sure you’re getting the best flavor, pour your wine out of the bottle and into a large, bell-shaped glass.
Pinot noir is best served slightly chilled at about 55°F.
To make sure that you’re getting the most out of your wine, it’s essential not to decant the pinot noir.
It can be read straight from its bottle just as well.
When drinking any wine, it’s always necessary to use an appropriate setup; in this case, we’ll need a sturdy stemless goblet or coupe glass for our pinot noir.
Valuable notes on flavor will get lost if coasters or other surface linens absorb them; using only clear surfaces allows us to see what we taste better than ever before possible.
Pinot noir can age for up to eight years, so don’t worry about buying a few bottles at once.
To keep Pinot Noir at its prime, store it at the appropriate temperature.
Food Pairing with Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is the perfect choice to pair with most food because it’s low in tannins and high acidity.
The soft, sweet flavors of pinot noir complement any food you might be having for dinner or lunch.
Charcuterie is a more robust type of meat that needs to be balanced out by the acidity in the wine.
A lighter Pinot Noir will not have enough body or flavor profile for these dishes, while a heavier one can overpower them and take over your meal.
Pinot Noirs are great companions for soft cheeses like Gruyère because they balance each other’s flavors perfectly.
The tanginess of Gouda pairs even better with slightly sweeter wines like a pinot noir.
A pair of the straight Pinot Noir with patés and terrines can be second only to pair it with a chocolate cake because these meats are so rich.
The wine will help you savor all the flavors while balancing out its weight from the fat in this dish.
Wild game is also an excellent choice for any red wine, including pinot noirs with lots of flavor and body but still enough acidity to balance out the meat’s gaminess.
A lighter style may not work well here as they cannot cut through this strong taste as heavier wines do.
Spring vegetables such as peas or green beans go perfect with a bolder style pinot noir, which has more fruity, earthy flavors.
If you’re craving a lighter red wine with some subtlety to it, then this is the perfect choice for roasted meats and poultry dishes like turkey or ham that can be served throughout the year.
Pinot noirs are light enough not to overwhelm these dishes but also have just enough complexity to make them enjoyable on their own too.
In conclusion, pinot noir is always an excellent choice for any meal, especially during cooler months.
Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just looking for something new to drink, we hope this blog post has helped you understand what Pinot Noir tastes like.
Be sure to give it a try sometime.
You might be surprised by how much you enjoy the taste and style of one of the most popular red wines in America.