Pinot Noir is a red grape, but the wine it produces can be light in color, ranging from pale pink to almost clear. In fact, some people call it “the white wine of red wines.” So what gives Pinot Noir its characteristic red hue? The skins of the grapes.
When the juice is extracted from any grape, it’s clear. It’s the contact with the grape skins during fermentation that gives the wine its color. And since Pinot Noir red wine grapes have very thin skins, they don’t impart many colors to the wine.
That said, there are some Pinot Noir grapes that are quite dark in color. This is usually due to the way the wine is made, rather than the grape itself. For example, if the noir grapes are fermented with their skins for a longer period of time, or if they’re pressed harder to extract more juice, the resulting wine will be darker.
Origin of Pinot Noir
The Pinot Noir grape is thought to be a descendant of two ancient grape varieties: the Gouais Blanc and the Pinot Meunier. The grape is named after the French word for “pine”, which is “pin”. The word “noir” means “black” in French, so Pinot Noir literally translates to “black pine”.
The first recorded mention of the grape was in 1375, in a document from the town of La Roche-Guyon in the Val-de-Marne region of France. Today, Pinot Noir is grown all over the world, but it originates from Burgundy, France. It’s the key grape variety in Burgundy sparkling wines, and it’s also used in Champagne.
Characteristics of Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir wines are characterized by their red fruit flavors, like cherries and raspberries. They can also have earthy aromas and flavors, like mushrooms and truffles. When young, Pinot Noir wines can be quite tart, but they become more mellow with age.
The best Pinot Noir is one that is well-balanced, with neither too much acidity nor too much tannin. The acidity gives the wine its freshness, while the tannins provide structure and body. Good examples of Pinot Noir wines include those from Burgundy and Oregon wine of red wines”, Pinot Noir can actually be quite dark in hue, depending on how it’s made. But no matter its color, Pinot Noir is sure to please the palate with its characteristic red fruit flavors and earthy aromas.
How to Serve Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is best served at cellar temperature, which is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit / 12 °C. To bring a bottle of wine to this temperature, simply pop it in the fridge for about an hour before serving. If you don’t have time to do this, no worries – just pour the wine into a decanter and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This will help the wine open up and show its true colors.
When it comes to food pairings, Pinot Noir is quite versatile. It goes well with poultry and white meat dishes, as well as salmon and other fatty fish. For something truly special, try pairing Pinot Noir with duck or lamb.
Advantages of Pinot Noir
Is Pinot Noir Red Or White
- The skin of the grape gives the wine its color
- Is a descendant of two ancient grape varieties: the Gouais Blanc and the Pinot Meunier
- Is named after the French word for “pine”, which is “pin”
- Is best served at cellar temperature, around 55 degrees Fahrenheit
- Is quite versatile and goes well with poultry and white meat dishes, as well as salmon and other fatty fish.
Disadvantages of Pinot Noir
- Is a light-bodied wine, which some people prefer
- Is more expensive than other wines because it is difficult to grow
- Is not as widely available as other wines.
Top Pinot Picks
When it comes to Pinot Noir, there are so many great choices out there. But which ones are the best of the best? Here are our top picks for the best Pinot Noir wines. These wines are sure to please, with their characteristic red fruit flavors and earthy aromas.
2013 Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir
If you’re looking for a delicious Pinot Noir that’s grown in the United States, we recommend the 2013 Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir. This wine is grown in Oregon, and it has notes of red cherry, raspberry, and cranberry. It’s well-balanced, with a smooth finish, and it pairs well with poultry and white meat dishes.
2012 Domaine du Pégau Cuvée Réservée
If you want to try a Pinot Noir from France, we recommend the 2012 Domaine du Pégau Cuvée Réservée. This wine is made in the southern part of the Rhône Valley, and it has flavors of dark cherries, blackberries, and spices. It’s full-bodied, with firm tannins, and it pairs well with lamb and other red meat dishes.
2013 Mukushi Pinot Noir
For a New Zealand Pinot Noir, we recommend the 2013 Mukushi Pinot Noir. This wine has the aromas of dark fruits and baking spices, and it tastes like black cherry, plum, and mocha. It’s a full-bodied wine, with firm tannins, and it pairs well with duck, lamb, and other fatty red meat dishes.
Things to Avoid When Drinking Pinot Noir
- Don’t drink Pinot Noir too cold – it should be served at cellar temperature, around 55 degrees Fahrenheit
- Don’t pair Pinot Noir with strongly flavored foods, as the wine can’t stand up to them. Stick to lighter fare like poultry or fish.
- Don’t age Pinot Noir for too long – it’s best consumed within 5-10 years after being bottled.
Where Can I Buy Pinot Wine?
Pinot Noir wine is available at most liquor stores. You can also find it at specialty wine stores, or you can purchase it online. If you’re looking for a good deal, try checking out wine clubs or online retailers like Wine.com, vinatis.com or millesima.com.
How to Store Pinot Noir Wine
If you have a bottle of Pinot Noir that you’d like to save for later, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, make sure to store the wine in a cool, dark place. This could be in your basement, or in a wine cellar if you have one. Secondly, avoid storing the wine near any strong-smelling items, like vinegar or onions. And finally, don’t forget to keep the cork moist – this will help preserve the wine’s flavor and aroma.
So, Is Pinot Noir red or white? The answer is both – it all depends on how the wine is made. If you’re looking for a versatile, food-friendly wine, Pinot Noir is a great choice. And if you’re looking for something a little different, try a Blanc de Noirs or a Rosé. Whichever way you choose to enjoy it, Pinot Noir is sure to please.