A light-bodied, low-tannin, silky, sensual red, handed stardom by the movie Sideways in 2004 (but still only the fifth most-popular red wine in the U.S.)
Swirl and taste: Red or dark berries, cherries, plums, violets, warm spices (cloves, cinnamon), herbs, sometimes and orange peel with an underside of cedar, smoke, leather, mushrooms, and loam.
• Pungent poultry and duck
• Hearty fish―salmon, tuna
• Ham, spicy pork
• Earthy legumes like lentils
• Warm spices―cinnamon, cloves, cumin, ginger
• Sweet-salty marinades
• Fruit-based sauces―with berries, dried cherries
• Spiced Asian and eastern Mediterranean dishes
• Many cheeses
MORE TASTING NOTES Pinot Noir can have an earthy Old World style (as in those from Burgundy, France―long on minerals, short on fruit). Or it can have a more fruit-forward, New-World style, produced in California and Oregon.
Some winemakers in the cooler parts of those states make a hybrid that’s lean and earthy yet still has generous fruit. The leaner, cooler-weather versions tend to have lower alcohol levels; the riper, fruitier Pinots from warmer places can have alcohol levels that overwhelm this wine.