Often associated with the Burgundy region of France and the great wine of Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, Pinot Noir grapes are grown in many countries around the world: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Brazil, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, the United States etc.
Pinot Noir is one of the oldest grape varieties which tend to produce the finest wines. At the same time, Pinot Noir is considered the toughest grape, which is quite difficult to cultivate and transform into wine. Pinot Noir grape requires special growing conditions, including warm days and cool evenings, and planting in cool and fog-prone regions.
Pinot Noir is also used in the production of sparkling wines (Champagne), still red wines, as well as for producing rose still wines and sometimes even vin gris white wines. The above-mentioned France’s red Burgundy wines, some of the most expensive in the world, are typically pinots, for example, Pommard, Chambertin, Romanee-Conti, Vosne-Romanee, and Richebourg.
Pinot Noir is full-bodied, lighter colored delicate red wine, not heavy, high in alcohol, yet neither acidic nor tannic. The characteristic quality of Pinot Noir is its soft, velvety texture, which caresses the palate when you taste it and creates a lasting impression. Pinot Noir tends to reach its peak at 5-to-8 years after the vintage, as it does not have the longevity of the darker red wines.
Pinot Noir’s flavors remind of sweet red berries, plums, ripe tomatoes, cherries and depending on specific growing conditions, may have some earthy or wood-like flavors. The wine’s aroma often has a pronounced spiciness of cinnamon, sassafras, or mint. Pinot Noir is famous for its complexity, meaning a broad range of flavors, bouquets, textures and finishes, which often confuses tasters. Pinot Noir wines contain little tannin, and they typically don’t throw a sediment as they age.
Pinot Noir goes well with a wide variety of foods, except for very spicy dishes. Spices may mask the delicate flavors of Pinot Noir and enhance the taste of alcohol. There are certain dishes which will show off the delicacy and fineness of Pinot Noir best of all: grilled salmon or tuna, roast beef, lamb, mushrooms, poultry, such as duck or pheasant, and cheeses, except for strong blue types of cheese.
French cuisine even has special dishes based on Pinot Noir, like Coq au Vin (chicken cooked in red wine) and some others. Pinots don’t require special conditions before serving, other than opening the bottle and letting the wine mix with oxygen for a little while before serving.