The Day of the Heartbreak Grape
Today we celebrate the “Heartbreak Grape,” also known as Pinot Noir. This varietal’s nickname stems from the fact that it’s a challenging grape to grow due to thin skin, tight clusters, and susceptibility to fungus, rotting, and temperature changes. However, if grown properly, Pinot Noir can be one of the best wines in the world!
With over 1,000 registered clones tracing all the way back to the Roman era, Pinot Noir is the sixth most planted red grape varietal in the world. When it comes to style, Pinot Noir is a famously a dry, light to medium-bodied wine with low tannins and high acidity. Pinot Noir has an aromatic profile of red fruits, paired with undertones of earthiness, spice, and vanilla, which can be best enjoyed when the wine is served slightly cooler than room temperature.
It is important to note that Pinot Noir is grown all over the world; the flavours and characteristics of the wine will differ depending on where it was produced. For instance, a Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France may develop more earthy and floral notes due to the Burgundian terroir. California Pinot tends to be bolder, fruit-forward with black cherry and black raspberry notes.
When it comes to pairing, Pinot Noir is very versatile. It is light enough to be served with salmon, and complex and acidic enough to be paired with duck. Pinot Noir is also delicious with roasted vegetables and herbs, specifically mushrooms, as well as comté cheese.
For the true Pinot Noir fans out there, you (and your bank account) probably already know that Pinot Noir is one of the most expensive wines on the market… but do you know why? As mentioned, Pinot Noir is a difficult grape to grow meaning that temperature fluctuations affect crop yields. A lot of time, care, and money goes into growing and producing this delicate grape. But that doesn’t mean delicious and reasonably-priced Pinot Noirs don’t exist, see below for some recommendations!
Founded in 1991, Blue Mountain is known for producing beautiful Pinot Noirs in the Okanagan. The 2020 Pinot Noir Estate Cuvee has notes of vanilla and toast which are complemented by cassis and cherry flavours, paired with spicy velvety tannins. It’s balanced structure will allow the wine to age for six to seven years, so get a bottle for now and one for later! FIND IT HERE
Recently awarded Gold by the Wine Align National Wine Awards of Canada, Malivoir’s 2021 Mottiar Pinot Noir is juicy and supple. This wine features notes of blueberry, cranberry and spice, paired with fresh fieldberries, cherry and a touch of minerality. FIND IT HERE
To highlight how the Pinot Noir grape can be used for a range of wine styles, a Pinot Noir Rosé has to be featured! More specifically, the Cedar Creek 2022 Pinot Noir Rosé. This certified organic wine is dry with notes of white flowers and raspberries. FIND IT HERE
If you’re looking to be introduced to Pinot Noir without fully committing to a 100% varietal, try a blend! French Door’s 2022 Fleur is a light-bodied, spicy, and earthy Gamay, Pinot Noir and Saignée blend with notes of cherry, liquorice, green strawberry, pepper, and red currant. FIND IT HERE