Pinot Noir is actually the name of the grape variety from which the wine is being made. It derives from the French language. “Pinot” means “pine” like a pine cone, while “noir” means “black”. The name represents the pinot noir grapes which have a pine cone shape and are very dark, almost black. Pinot Noir is among the most popular red wines in the world and features an amazing, complex flavour.
What Is the Origin of Pinot Noir?
It is believed that the story with Pinot Noir started in France. France is among the largest wine producers in the world so it’s no surprise. Pinot Noir is a very old grape variety and it became popular back when France was part of the Roman Empire. The ancient Romans adored the taste of Pinot Noir and as you can see not much has changed since, as Pinot red wine is the favourite wine of many still today.
In Australia, Pinot Noir grapes were brought somewhere in the 1800s. It took some time for the grapes to actually adjust to the climate and start growing, but today, Pinot Noir is one of the most popular grape varieties and makes for the most popular Pinot red wine in Australia. Pinot Noir grows in several wine areas in Australia among which Yarra Valley, Adelaide Hills, Tasmania and Mornington Peninsula.
If you have to make a choice when it comes to a good bottle of Pinot Noir wine, choose from the following: Heirloom Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir 2020, Picardy Pemberton Pinot Noir 2019, Riposte “The Dagger” Pinot Noir 2020, Six Brothers Tasmania Pinot Noir 2018 and Stonier Mornington Peninsula Merron’s Vineyard’ Pinot Noir 2018. These are all Pinot Noir wines that have been awarded multiple times and this only serves as reassurance for their impeccable taste and quality.
What Are the Characteristics of Pinot Noir?
The taste of Pinot Noir depends largely on the region and the climate where the grapes grow. Cooler climates make for Pinot Noir that’s light-bodied and with a delicate flavour. Opposite of that, warmer climates make for Pinot Noir that’s full-bodied, with high levels of alcohol. Overall, Pinot Noir is dry, rich in silky tannins and not as acidic.
Its complex flavour is a mix of raspberries, cherries, mushrooms and vanilla. But you need to be aware that the flavour of two different bottles of Pinot Noir is never identical simply because every winery and every wine brand has its own way of making Pinot Noir. For instance, Pinot Noir that tastes like vanilla does so because it has been aged in French oak barrels. But there are also Pinot Noir wines that don’t taste like vanilla. You can also come across Pinot Noir that tastes like strawberries, truffles, red fruits, spices, olives, plums, graphite, pomegranate and the list goes on. There’s also a difference between organic and regular wine. In a way, every bottle of Pinot Noir tells a story of its own and provides you with a unique wine tasting experience.
People often ask whether Pinot Noir belongs to the group of dry or sweet wines. The truth is, 99% of the time Pinot Noir is a dry wine although it may taste like sweet wine. The fruits are the only ones responsible for the sweetness since there aren’t additional sugars in Pinot wine. Precisely the fact Pinot is a very neutral wine makes it pairable with all kinds of different dishes.
So, you have quite a lot of options when it comes to preparing a meal that pairs well with Pinot wine. You can go for duck meat, chicken, salmon, tuna or pork. How you prepare the meat doesn’t matter. Pinot goes great both with grilled meat and with meat baked in an oven. You can even sauté chicken or pork meat and prepare a nice sauce to go with it. A great choice is the mushroom sauce. Since Pinot has some mushroom notes itself it will go great with a mushroom sauce and nicely cooked meat.
If you’re more a pasta lover, worry not, because Pinot wine goes great with pasta too. You can prepare creamy cheese pasta, seafood pasta, tomato pasta or the famous spaghetti Bolognese. As per the dessert, you can make chocolate mousse, dip strawberries in chocolate or simply serve chocolate bars and fruits on a plate. Pinot Noir and chocolate are a match made in heaven.
Does Pinot Noir Have Health Benefits?
Pinot Noir is among the healthiest wines you can drink, as long as you don’t exaggerate with the dosage, of course. Red wine in general has a reputation of being very beneficial for human health, so now you have one more reason to get a bottle and treat yourself with a glass of Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir is rich in resveratrol. It contains a very big amount of this compound that is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, resveratrol is believed to help with diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes type 1 and 2 and dementia. People that suffer from skin inflammation and arthritis can benefit a lot from the additional resveratrol intake as well. In fact, people frequently take resveratrol supplements to boost their health. But you don’t need supplements. You just need a good bottle of Pinot Noir wine.
Drinking moderate amounts of red wine can’t hurt your health. Wine only has a negative effect on people that are heavy drinkers. A glass of wine every now and then never hurt anybody. Studies have shown that red wine is good for gut health too. And in some people, moderate wine drinking is linked to better cardiovascular health as well. When you think about it, there are a lot of health benefits from drinking red wine. So, the next time you pour yourself a glass of wine or two, you can drink it guilt-free knowing that you’re doing something good for your body.