The air is crisp and the holiday season is upon us. As you make plans, consider adding a couple of bottles of Pinot Noir to your holiday table.
The Pinot Noir grape is one of the world's oldest grapes, and is challenging to grow, requiring optimal growing conditions, but the effort is worth it! It originated in the Burgundy region of France, but is now grown all over the world. Some wonderful Pinot Noirs are produced in Sonoma County, California.
Pinot Noir is a dry red wine, light-to-medium-bodied, with low tannin, and about 12% alcohol by volume, making it drinkable for everyone. Pinot Noir tasting notes include:
- Fruit-forward character with notes of strawberry and cherry;
- Earthy layers, like herbs or mushrooms, and;
- Spicy notes, like cinnamon, cloves, or tobacco.
These tasting notes make Pinot Noir a lighter-bodied red wine, giving it a white wine's versatility and drinkability, meaning it pairs perfectly with a wide variety of foods. Pinot Noir plays especially well with spicy or well-seasoned dishes.
Suggested food pairings include a lot of what might be on your holiday table:
- Roasted Turkey with Gravy. Your holiday staple pairs beautifully with a Pinot Noir, the balanced and subtle wine will not overpower the turkey.
- Risotto, especially mushroom risotto. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms works well with the fruity flavors of Pinot Noir.
- Smoked or Glazed Ham. The sweet and fruity flavors of Pinot Noir are balanced without being too bold and complement the sweet note of a glazed ham or the earthy notes of a smoked ham.
- Appetizers. Think bruschetta, cheese plates, stuffed mushrooms, salmon puffs, bread, salads, or bacon-wrapped anything. Pinot Noir pairs well with it all!
In fact, Pinot Noir is sometimes classified as having a red wine palate and a white wine style, making it easy to pair with an enormous variety of food options.