If you’re getting a little bogged down by all the hundreds of different wines that are available, don’t feel bad.
Learning all there is to know about wine can be a massive challenge even for a real wine connoisseur.
Think about how many different variations of wine there are, I couldn’t even begin to try and list them all, it would never end!
You can certainly feel the pressure when it comes to choosing a bottle of wine, especially if you’re somewhere like a fancy restaurant, where you’ve got to take into consideration flavor combinations, aromas, and what wines you can and can’t drink with certain foods.
If you’ve ever been asked to go and grab a nice pinot noir, you’ve probably seen loads of different variants on the shelves and panicked.
Which one do you choose? Do they taste all that different? Is it red wine? Or is it white?
And while I couldn’t possibly advise you on every wine out there, throughout this article I can get you up to speed with all things pinot noir, so that by the end of this article, you will have all the knowledge you’ll need to pick out the perfect wine for dinner.
Red Or White
Pinot noir is more commonly known as a red wine that actually comes from a species of grape called Vitis Vinifera.
However, this is where some of the confusion may come from as these grapes can actually be prepared and produced in a specific way that creates a lovely crisp white pinot noir too.
So the answer is both- you can either red or white pinot noirs. But reds tend to be more common.
So do you go for a red or a white pinot noir? Well, that is completely down to personal preference.
A red is more common and often the more popular choice of the two.
But both are delicious wines with amazing flavors, so you’re unlikely to be disappointed either way.
The Difference In Flavor Between The Red And White Pinot Noir
So, now that you know that there is both a red pinot noir and a white pinot noir, let’s discuss the differences in flavor between them.
Red Pinot Noir
Your typical red will have a lot of really complex flavors.
You should expect hints of cherry, mushroom, raspberry, oak, baking spice, vanilla, and many other earthy types of tastes.
Of course, different bottles will have different dominant flavors and this really comes down to where the pinot noir was produced and the climate the grapes were grown in.
Typically, if the grapes have been grown in a much warmer country, the wine that is produced tends to be more full-bodied, have much riper and stronger flavors, and will be higher in alcohol.
Cooler country pinot noirs, on the other hand, are much more delicate and light-bodied.
White Pinot Noir
A white pinot noir is richer than any other white wine you’re likely to have tried. They also tend to have these lovely light citrus flavors.
Sip at a glass of this wine and you’re likely to pick up notes of lemon, baked apple, pear, almond, orange zest, honey, or ginger.
A white pinot noir also tends to be less acidic than the red.
How To Pair Pinot Noir With Food
A nice pinot noir will pair well with most food types. If you have a particularly fruity pinot noir then it’ll be best to pair this wine with any fatty fish.
It goes great with the likes of most kinds of seafood too such as shrimp, scallops, or lobster.
If you are a vegetarian, then this wine is also great to go beside some of your favorite veggie meals.
Try a glass with a caramelized cauliflower steak with a side of roasted carrots and thank me later!
And don’t worry meat-eaters, this wine pairs well with meals you’ll enjoy too.
If you’re preparing a romantic meal I’d suggest a coq au vin or delicious beef bourguignon to bring out your pinot noir.
If you’ve gone for a pinot noir with a real earthy flavor, then opt for some game as your meat of choice, duck is my personal favorite.
Storage & Serving Pinot Noir
If you’ve treated yourself to a nice bottle of pinot noir, you’re going to want to make sure that you store it correctly.
Really, it’s best to keep the bottle somewhere that can be temperature and humidity controlled, that is away from light and vibrations too.
If you plan on drinking the wine fairly soon (the next couple of days) you’ll be fine storing it in a refrigerator. The ideal temperature though is between 50-55°F.
You should always serve the wine chilled in a large wine glass for the best results.
Whichever pinot you choose, be it red or white, fruity or earthy, you are assured to have unique and exquisite flavors with each and every sip.
There’s no right or wrong answer to which variant is the best, they’re all here to be tasted and enjoyed.
And which ones you do enjoy will just come down to personal preference.
If you tend to lean towards a lighter or citrus fruit then I’d recommend leaning towards a crisp white pinot, you’ll be sure to find it delicious.
However, if you’re looking for a deeper, more full-bodied flavor that comes from red fruit then you’re definitely going to be more partial to a more classic red pinot noir.
And what’s great is that this wine is so versatile and will pair well with most dishes that you intend to make, whether you prefer fish, meat, or a vegetarian option you can place a glass of pinot noir beside it and be sure it will complement it well.