Pinot Noir isn’t called “the noble grape” in France for no reason. It been coveted by kings and commoners in large part for its magical abilities with food.
People often think of Pinot as a delicate wine, and that’s true to a certain point. It is a light red wine, not a robust, tannic sort, and the best Pinots have marvelous layers of aromas and flavors that seem to go on and on.
But don’t let its delicacy fool you, because Pinot Noir is a powerhouse with food. It has the kind of acidity that is so important to versatility with food. This acidity comes from its cool climate growing regions. In California, there are only a handful of regions that can deliver the best Pinot Noir — Sta. Rita Hills in Santa Barbara, Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey, parts of the Sonoma Coast, the Russian River Valley and Carneros. Oregon has much more Pinot Noir territory than California.
The more fruit-forward the Pinot is, the better is with fattier fare, like roast chicken, lasagna, salmon or halibut. Bigger Pinots can stand up to game meats and birds, as well as beef. These types of Pinot often come from California, due to the weather. Oregon generally produces leaner Pinot Noir which in our opinion is even more able to pair well with many kinds of food, including Chinese, Indian, lamb, pizza … the list goes on.
The only food we would not choose for Pinot is anything too hotly spicy
How about you? What’s your favorite food with Pinot Noir?