There are two reasons that Pinot Noir is my go-to wine at holiday time.
The first is that it’s so versatile with food. Pinot Noir pairs beautifully with turkey and all the trimmings… with a beef roast… and thanks to its acidity, it even works with ham.
The second is that it expresses its terroir — its place of origin — more clearly than any other variety.
The 2015 La Vielle Courette, a French Pays d’Oc wine, is a perfect example of this. Not only can you taste the raspberry and berry jam flavors of this wine, but you also can experience its “savory” quality — a quality that enhances its food affinity.
The 2014 vintage of The Crater Rim Pinot Noir from New Zealand expresses its terroir with a mushroom-like impression that complements its cranberry and red cherry fruit flavors.
The concept of terroir is not restricted to wines from other countries, either, as demonstrated by the 2013 vintage from Sebastopol Oaks. It hails from the vineyards of California’s Sonoma Coast, and its terroir is expressed through savory spice and leather notes that accent red-fruit, blueberry and plum flavors.
In each case, it’s the terroir that defines the Pinot Noir and makes it so engaging… not to mention so mysterious. How can a wine be so complex, yet so elegant? How can it be so fruit-intense, yet also so sensuous?
The holiday season is a time for celebration, and I am always grateful when my celebrations (not to mention my holiday meals) are accompanied by a bottle of Pinot Noir.