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Summer Reds You Need to Know: Pinot Noir

The next series of blog posts will focus on light reds suitable to take the distinguished position as your summer 'house red'.

Cool Climate Pinot Noir is a chameleon. It vibes well with many cuisines and can shine with a bit of a chill on it. For these reasons and more to come, it deserves a place on your go-to summer red wine list.

Pinot Noir is a red wine famed from the region of Burgundy, France. Over the years, it has seen its value grow to hard to get levels for the average consumer. A Grand Cru from Burgundy can start in the hundred dollar range and go as high as $10,000 and maybe more, depending on vintage, producer and condition. (Scroll down here to see how much Domaine de la Romanée-Conti's Grand Cru sold for in 2018.) Lucky for us, great expressions of Red Burgundy can also be found in the Premier and Entry level wines too!

While Pinot Noir's famed location is Burgundy, it is essential to note that this finicky grape is grown worldwide. The more Pinot Noir you drink, the more you will see there is a fundamental difference between Cool Climate Pinot Noir and Warm Climate Pinot Noir. The cooler the climate, the lighter the wine and crisper the acidity, and the warmer the climate, the fuller the wine, which generally comes with considerable alcohol. This distinction is vital when determining your summer 'red'. You will want to buy Pinot Noir from the following cool climate areas:

  • Burgundy

  • Canada (Ontario)

  • Germany (called Spätburgunder here)

  • New Zealand (Central Otago region is a must)

The above all give you a cool climate expression of Pinot Noir, and pairs lovely on a patio and with the foods you take off the grill. You can expect to find a lot of red fruit, some spice, bright acidity, moderate tannins, and alcohol. Served at 13°C, you will see why a cool climate Pinot Noir sings on a summer patio.

It's about time you add Pinot Noir to your summer reds list.


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