By David Wyatt (Social Media aficionado)
Pinot Noir is one of my favourite grapes and if you said I could only drink one grape variety for the rest of my life, Pinot Noir would come out on top. So what is it about this fussy little black grape that makes it just so appealing to me and many others?
The main appeal for me is that it is incredibly easy to drink and if you’re not careful a full bottle will be gone in no time at all. It has thin skins which results in a light coloured wine with low to medium levels of tannin – the sensation you feel on your gums. When grown correctly it displays lovely red fruit flavours like strawberry, raspberry and cherry with vegetal nuances like mushroom and gamey-meaty aromas. Stunning! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
I have to admit that I’m not a Champagne man, the bubbles do nothing for me – however Pinot Noir is one of the three permitted grapes along with Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay used in the making of Champagne, so it’s prestige all the way for this fussy character.
So what makes this grape such a fussy one and difficult to grow? It requires a cool to moderate climate – too cool and the grape won’t ripen enough and you are left with a wine that has excessive vegetal notes like wet leaves and cabbage – and nobody wants that, unless you are a wet leaf and cabbage fiend! Too hot and it loses its delicate flavours and becomes excessively jammy.
Burgundy in France is considered the area for prestigious Pinot Noir, and some of these can cost you a fair whack, but if like me you don’t have the pockets to mortgage your house for a fine Pinot Noir from Burgundy’s elite, you can still enjoy some from Burgundy that don’t have the fancy label and historic name attached.
I have to admit that my personal favourite Pinot Noir originates in New Zealand. With Pinot Noir being the most widely planted red grape in New Zealand, it’s no surprise that they have really perfected the art to get this grape just right. A few more spicy notes than its Burgundy brother and more intense fruit than him too.
On to my favourite, the Sherwood Stratum Waipara Pinot Noir 2011. Currently on the website for £12.99 and for a Pinot Noir with this much class, that’s a great price. Not only does it have a pretty funky label but it is bursting with red fruit, and the red fruit character is the reason I love this grape so much. Another reason is you can serve this wine and the majority of Pinot Noirs either with food or just sip away at them as an after work treat! I’m not saying after spending the day talking to you lovely peeps on Twitter & Facebook I need a drink but it’s nice none the less.
If you want to read more about Pinot Noir, then head over to our Wine-Zone page dedicated entirely to this fussy grape. It includes a full run down of where you can find it as well as some interesting facts!