Are you a fan of Pinot Noir and looking for the best wines to celebrate National Pinot Noir Day?
Whether you're an experienced wine connoisseur or just getting your feet wet, we've got some bottles worth popping open in honor of this special occasion.
With flavors ranging from crisp and acidic to juicy and fruit-forward there's something everyone will love about National Pinot Noir Day, which will be celebrated on 18th August.
So gather up your favorite glasses, pick out one (or two!) of these delicious bottles, and let's cheers to celebrating this beloved varietal!
History of National Pinot Noir Day
The name "Pinot Noir" originates from the type of grape used in its production, derived from the French words for ‘pine’ and ‘black.’
Going back to as early as the 1st century, the presence of Pinot Noir and its consumption can be traced to the Burgundy regions of France.
Presently, this grape variety is cultivated worldwide, with its historical ties to French heritage contributing significantly to Europe's history and contemporary wine culture. During the Roman conquest of Ghaul, the remarkable richness, texture, and distinct flavors of ripe red fruit, cherries, toast, and spices in Pinot Noir caught the attention of the invaders.
This grape, primarily cultivated in the Burgundy region, became highly sought-after by the Romans for over three centuries. The Romans established vineyards and began commercial cultivation of the grape, making it a preferred choice among the nobility.
Subsequently, it gained prominence within the Catholic Church, being cultivated, harvested, and used in religious ceremonies.
Pinot Noir retained its importance within the Catholic Church for many successive centuries. The Catholic Church maintained ownership of Pinot Noir vineyards in France until the French Revolution of 1789, which marked the end of exclusive aristocratic access to this wine.
Although the grape has spread globally, its cultivation is notoriously challenging, requiring ideal conditions.
Pinot Noir Regions in the US
Willamette Valley, Oregon is one of the premier Pinot Noir growing areas in the United States. The cool climate and diverse soils produce wines with vibrant acidity and complex flavors.
Russian River Valley has a cool, foggy climate influenced by its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. This region produces rich and concentrated Pinot Noir wines with notes of red fruit, spice, and earthiness.
Santa Rita Hills benefits from maritime influences that create a cool and extended growing season. The resulting Pinot Noir wines stand out with their bright acidity, intense aromatics, and balance of fruit and earthiness.
Anderson Valley has diverse microclimates. Its combination of cool nights and warm days allows for slow ripening and the development of complex flavors in Pinot Noir. Wines from this area often display red fruit characteristics, floral notes, and hints of spice.
Straddling Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, Carneros benefits from the cooling influence of San Pablo Bay. This maritime influence contributes to wines with bright acidity and flavors that balance fruitiness with floral and spicy elements.
While Washington is more often associated with Cabernet Sauvignon and other red varieties, some regions within the Columbia Valley have shown promise for producing quality Pinot Noir. These wines exhibit darker fruit flavors and a slightly different profile than Pinot Noirs from other regions.
Best Wines To Celebrate National Pinot Noir Day
Of course, celebrating this special day with astounding Pinot Noir wines always pays off!
Here are 5 delicious wines that will cheer your day right away…
With a strong emphasis on the Burgundian heritage of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Brewer Clifton Pinot Noir not only pays homage to France but also forges an autonomous style that captures the essence of California.
The fragrance of Illahe Pinot Noir starts with notes of strawberry, tamarind, and blackberry. These scents gradually expand across the palate, encompassing hints of chalk, tobacco leaf, chocolate, and earth. The acidity provides a foundation for a tannic balance that is both comprehensive and well-proportioned between the grape skin and oak influences.
Sea Sun Pinot Noir celebrates the great diversity of California. It is sourced from premier coastal regions, with cooling breezes off the Pacific Ocean that balance the bright warmth of the sun. These ideal conditions allow for an extended growing season, creating a layered wine with broad appeal. Strikingly soft, with scents of baked cherries, vanilla, and brown spice.
MIB Bourgogne Pinot Noir brings an intense rosé color with golden reflections, and a gourmet nose with red fruit notes and a milky touch. The palate is delicate, balanced with a beautiful freshness and a superb acidulous finish.
Carmel Road Pinot Noir is bright, crisp, and silky, with an aromatic fragrance leading to complex flavors ranging from cherry pie filling to rhubarbs, pomegranates, and dusty brown spices, all accented by smoky oak. It’s one of the best options for National Pinot Noir Day.
What kind of glass should I use to serve pinot noir?
The Burgundy glass is best suited for medium-bodied red wines with a lighter body, such as Pinot Noir. This glass is shorter than the Bordeaux glass, but it has a larger bowl than it does.
Because of this, the wine is directed to the tip of the tongue, allowing the drinker to appreciate the more subtle flavors.
How long does an open bottle of Pinot Noir last?
Red wines with a low level of tannins, such as pinot noir and merlot, will keep for two to three days, while red wines with a higher level of tannin should remain delightful for up to five days after being opened, provided that they are handled with care.