Pinot Noir 101


Posted by Maud Piovesan•

 

Happy International Pinot Noir Day! 

Do we need a better excuse to celebrate?

One of the oldest grapes in the world, Pinot Noir is a red-skin grape that has been around since Middle Ages. But what do we know about it?

Pinot Noir DNA

Pinot Noir = Pinot Gris = Pinot Grigio = Pinot Blanc
Each grape DNA was analysed to find out they are identical, the only difference being their colour which muted from the original Pinot Noir grape. If you’re into Pinot Noir, it means there is a good chance you are into Pinot Gris too!
 


Pinot Noir Aroma

Pinot Noir is a light-bodied wine, loved for its red fruit, flower and spice aromas that are accentuated by a smooth finish and low-tannin.
But what is considered to be the world’s most elegant red wine is also a nightmare for winemakers. Why? The grape itself is highly susceptible to wine diseases or mutations and is extremely sensitive to any changes in soil or weather conditions. In short, it takes a lot of care and skill to vinify Pinot Noir.
 


Pinot Noir & Burgundy

One region excels at cultivating Pinot Noir and is known as its homeland: Burgundy. This famous wine region is located south of Champagne, its main city being Dijon – yes, like the mustard. The French winemakers focus more on soil and climate than of the grape itself. Pinot Noir and Burgundy, Burgundy and Pinot Noir – their alliance is mythical.
 


Pinot Noir in the World

Pinot Noir is also one of the varieties that have travelled most outside its original borders, adapting to different viticultural regions, especially the cold ones, contributing to building their reputations as wine regions. The differences in terroir are greatly reflected in Pinot Noir, which makes it a fascinating wine. Whilst Pinot Noir tends to have earthy notes of mushrooms and cloves in the Old-World wines (France, Germany, Italy), its taste changes dramatically to red fruit and plenty of spices in the New-World ones (California, Argentina, Australia, NZ).
 
Pinot Noir in Côte d’Or, Burgundy.

Pinot Noir & Champagne

Pinot Noir is one of the few red grapes that’s commonly made into red, rosé, white wine and champagne! In fact, it is one of the three grapes that can be used to create champagne, along with Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Pinot Noir can be used in many champagne styles: Blanc de noirs, Brut, Rosé, Extra-brut.

Even though all Champagne Houses use Pinot Noir in producing champagne, some have decided to build their reputation and style on the expression of Pinot Noir. Champagne Bollinger, among others, is known for crafting full-bodied wines, with more depth and intensity due to the dominance of Pinot Noir in the blend.

Pinot Noir & Food Pairings

Pinot Noir is the perfect wine to pick when everyone orders a different entrée at the restaurant: it goes well with a lot of things. My top picks are:
- For the cheese lovers: Comté (aka Gruyère de Comté)
- For the meat lovers: Spiced Duck
- For the vegetarians: Mushroom Risotto
- For those on a budget: White-Pizza base  


Must-try at home

Enough about theory. I think after reading this, we all want to get to the real stuff.

Let me suggest you an experiment to spice up any evening. Get yourself a bottle of Pinot Noir from Burgundy, a bottle from the Mornington Peninsula, and a 100% Pinot Noir Champagne, and organise your own wine tasting at home. Write down tasting notes and compare with your friend/partner/family. The versatility of Pinot Noir makes it a mind-blowing experience.

Pair it with food pairing recommendations and you’ve got your next Friday evening sorted out! I’ve done it with my friends and trust me, it’s a lot of fun.


Pinot Noir Collection

Check out our Collection of Pinot Noir dominant champagnes and get a taste of this amazing grape!


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