Described by most wine lovers as the most enchanting of all grape varieties, Pinot Noir is one of the most expensive wines in the world. Widely grown in Burgundy, France, its “true” taste is said to be as elusive as it is hard to cultivate. The popularity of the wine has reached far and wide, into the homes and fashionable restaurants, served to the most discerning wine connoisseurs of the world. The discussions and debate around Pinotcenter around its rich flavor which can be traced back to its origins.
The Origins of Pinot Noir
To this day, the origins of Pinot Noir are unclear. It is an accepted fact that Pinotis grown extensively in Côte-d’Or, Burgundy in France, and that it grows exquisitely in the region, but whether it is a parent plant or a mutation of another plant is yet to be established. It is an old variety that may have come as far back as the 1st century AD and now currently has hundreds of clones worldwide with over 50 officially recognized clones in France.
The Distinctive Taste of Pinot Noir
With taste and texture so broad, Pinot Noir often leaves some people confuse while others expressing poetic thoughts about it. Slightly suggestive of dark fruit flavors, Pinot Noir can go from fruity to spicy. It smells of strawberry and cherry, lightly tinged with notes of leather and violets. When grown under cool weather conditions, Pinot Noir’s spirited flavor tastes like red berries and cherries, and as it ages, develops some elements of undergrowth, forest floor and mushroom.
Pinot Noir Geography
Unfortunately, you can’t grow Pinot Noir from the wrong side of the globe even if you know how to. There is a reason why Pinot Noir grown in Burgundy, France is often called “true Pinot Noir”. The vine thrives only in cool weather regions and retains its acidity because of it. In addition, the skin of this particular grape can break easily when it’s humid. Harvest time is also critical because picking them too early may result in the fruit not reaching its full ripeness.
Most wine experts believe that regions near and within the 45th parallel in the Northern and Southern hemispheres are quite similar to the weather in Burgundy, France and therefore ideal for growing Pinot Noir.
Today, you can find Pinot vineyards all over the globe. There are Pinot Noir vineyards in Austria, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Greece, Romania, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, United States and many others. In the US, Oregon and California are the major Pinot Noir producers.
Pinot Noir Pairing
Although Pinot Noir is difficult to grow, it’s one of the easiest wine to pair food with. In fact, the general rule of “white wine is to seafood and red wine is to red meat“, doesn’t quite apply with Pinot Noir, and you can pair it with almost anything. From white meats and eggs to fish, ham, veal, game meats and red meats, a Pinot will complement any food as easily as it will satisfy your wine cravings.
Pinot is also perfect with soy-based and creamy sauces dishes and those with spicy seasonings. When choosing meat, opt for lean cuts as Pinot tends to be light and thin in the mouth. The juiciness of the meat will go well with the light juiciness of your meat.
Pinot Noir may have stringent growing requirements, but with its taste, you’ll likely feel it is all worth it. That said, you’ll never understand why it is often compared to a capricious woman– who, with her charm, everyone tends to forgive — until you try one.