Pronunciation: [PEE-noh NWAHR]
The red grape that produces the spicy, rich, complex French red Burgundies as well as Pinot Noirs from California, Oregon and Washington. Pinot Noir is also important in making French Champagnes and American sparkling wines. French Burgundy wines like Romanée-Conti and Chambertin are world renowned for being elegant, soft and smooth. They also command tremendous prices. The American Pinot Noirs are less expensive and some particularly those from California and Oregon are rapidly gaining in excellence and popularity. Pinot Noir is red wine for white wine lovers (or red wine with an identity crisis). It’s got all the cherries/berries/herb flavors that you associate with red wine, but because of its high acidity and low alcohol, it feels like white wine. This best-of-both-worlds-ness of Pinot Noir makes it the perfect food wine for almost everything that’s not overly bold-flavored, such as pork or salmon. It’s a can’t-miss for dinner parties.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.