How To Drink Pinot Noir

The exquisite and fragile notes of Pinot Noir never cease to enchant me with every sip. Its multifaceted taste and scent have earned it the nickname “heartbreak grape.” In this piece, I will recount my own experiences and offer suggestions on how to fully savor and embrace a glass of Pinot Noir.

The Importance of Glassware

When it comes to drinking Pinot Noir, the right glassware can make all the difference. I prefer using a Burgundy glass, which has a wide bowl and a narrow rim. This shape allows the wine to breathe and enhances its aromas. Holding the glass by the stem prevents your body heat from affecting the temperature of the wine, maintaining its ideal serving temperature.

Serving Temperature

Speaking of temperature, serving Pinot Noir at the correct temperature is crucial to fully appreciate its flavors. I like to serve it slightly cooler than room temperature, around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit (13-15 degrees Celsius). This cooler temperature brings out the wine’s acidity and makes it more refreshing.

Decanting Pinot Noir

While decanting is not always necessary for Pinot Noir, it can help open up the wine and unleash its aromas. I find that decanting younger Pinot Noirs for about 30 minutes to an hour can enhance their flavors and make them more expressive. Older Pinot Noirs, on the other hand, may benefit from longer decanting times to allow any sediment to settle.

Tasting and Savoring

Now comes the exciting part – tasting and savoring the Pinot Noir. Take a moment to observe the wine’s color. Pinot Noir typically has a light to medium red hue, resembling garnet or ruby. Swirl the wine gently in your glass to release its aromas, then bring it to your nose and take a deep sniff. I often find notes of red fruits like cherry and raspberry, along with earthy undertones.

Before taking a sip, take a moment to appreciate the wine’s aromas. Then, when you take that first sip, let the wine coat your palate. Pay attention to the flavors and the way they evolve on your tongue. Pinot Noir often showcases flavors of red berries, spice, and sometimes even a hint of mushroom. The wine’s acidity and silky tannins give it a smooth and elegant mouthfeel.

Pairing Pinot Noir with Food

Pinot Noir is an incredibly versatile wine when it comes to food pairings. Its lighter body and acidity make it a perfect match for a wide range of dishes. Personally, I love pairing Pinot Noir with roasted duck or grilled salmon. The wine’s fruitiness and earthiness complement these dishes beautifully and create a harmonious dining experience.

My Final Thoughts

Drinking Pinot Noir is more than just sipping a glass of wine – it’s an experience. From the moment you pour it into the glass to the lingering flavors on your palate, each step is a journey of discovery. So next time you open a bottle of Pinot Noir, take the time to appreciate its nuances and let its story unfold in your glass.

Remember, wine is meant to be enjoyed, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find your own personal preferences. Cheers!