It’s the holiday season and everyone is recommending Pinot Noir again. What is it with folks, do they just like to take the path of least resistance? Will there come a day when Pinot is not the end all of holiday wine recommendations?
Probably not. Lambrusco and Blaufrankisch have a whole set of issues that will prevent them from ever garnering the type of slavish following Pinot Noir enjoys. In truth, there is good reason for that. People just enjoy Pinot more.
Why they enjoy Pinot is up for debate, but the bottom line is that well made Pinot Noir combines intensity of flavor with a lightness of being that is both intellectually stimulating for those who give a hoot and broadly appealing. I think the biggest issue with Pinot Noir tends to be acidity, as it is too high for some with certain wines yet too low for some in others.
Other than that, Pinot Noir tends to be a drinker’s dream as it is generally neither too tannic nor too alcoholic. On that second point, I am open to a debate. The wine has a generally fruity profile that is easy to appreciate yet that is often matched by nuanced, savory elements and in some cases, a real expression of terroir that is hard to match.
And it goes pretty well with food, too! That’s why when the holidays roll around, the Pinot recommendations roll out. Here’s a wine that most people have some familiarity with, that can be as party-friendly or geek-friendly as you might like, and that can pair at the table with everything from salmon to steak with some certainty that it will not ruin a holiday feast.
Pinot Noir image via Shutterstock
I don’t know if I’m taking the path of least resistance here or just appealing to popular opinion, but I’m jumping in with both feet. On the following pages, you’ll find lists of the top recently tasted Pinot Noir wines at a variety of price points. If you’re looking for real value, check out the selection from last week, which features notes of wines priced at $15 and under. There’s something to like at each price point with surprises at all levels, so it’s worth taking a look at them all. You never know when a well-priced wine might knock your socks off and be just the right wine for the right time!