Part 2: Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir’s bright acidity, its complexity, the grace and balance of the best examples, and its rich fruit character mean it’s a perfect match with a wide variety of cuisines.
In terms of taste, it’s often described as having a red wine palate, but a white wine style – it tends to be lighter-bodied than other reds with more subtle tannins – so making it popular with both red wine and white wine drinkers: rich in berry fruit flavours, warm spice and earthy undertones, and it’s this combination of acidity, silky tannins and distinct body make it an ideal accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes, from delicate poached fish to rich game.
Indeed, whilst the style of the Pinot can make a difference, as the paragraphs that follow show, it can be a ‘go to’ on a wine list in a restaurant environment when those you’re eating with are choosing both meat and fish dishes.
Lighter Pinot Noirs go well with cold meats, terrines and pâtés, white meat dishes in lighter cream sauces, spring vegetables, especially green veg.
Fruitier Pinot Noirs are a match for roasted or barbecued poultry or pork, grilled or seared fish, roasted root vegetables, and dishes that contain fruit.
Soft and silky Pinot Noirs complement poultry and game bird, roasted or in casseroles, offal, red meats such as lamb or beef, as well as pork dishes, with and without sauces (mushroom sauces are particularly good), as well as oven-baked and roasted shellfish (no, you don’t have to pair with white wine).
Rich and full-bodied Pinot Noirs are a natural with (char)grilled steaks, roast or barbecued lamb, venison and other game meats, poultry, duck and game birds, either roasted or casseroled (in Pinot, of course), boiled or roasted hams and gammon, and mild blue cheeses.
Mature and flavoursome Pinot Noirs are made for game pies, and the gamut of game birds: grouse, pheasant, partridge, quail, pigeon, woodcock, again with and without sauces (truffles are a match made in heaven).
You’ll find wonderful examples of Pinot Noirs from top German estates on the pages of the Vintners Pride of Germany website www.vpog.co.uk