Everyone has a favorite party guest; somebody with a friendly, and approachable attitude, who can get along with anybody—no matter the circumstance or setting. In the wine world—Pinot Noir is that gregarious buddy.
Pinot Noir is one of the most versatile and food-friendly red wines. The rich flavor profile of strawberry, cherry and raspberry with warm and spicy undertones create a mouthwatering mix that complements a wide variety of dishes. In honor of #PinotNoirDay, explore the best pinot noir and food pairings that you can use to enjoy on your own, or to give your party an upgrade that will be a foodie’s dream come true.
Beef (or Bacon) and Garlic Dishes
This is one of our favorite food pairings that showcases Pinot Noir’s versatility. Earth-bound melodies of grilled beef are an outstanding match to pinot’s affinity for smoky dishes. The softer tannins and great acidity give Pinot Noir a leg up when pairing with the likes of mushrooms, bacon, onions and garlic. Choose a fuller-bodied pinot from California for this pairing. Examples: Bacon Stuffed MushroomsBeef Tenderloin Szechuan Beef
Peking (or Roasted) Duck
This is a classic pairing for Pinot Noir, and one that will work great for a special occasion or holiday. Peking duck is arguably Beijing’s most popular dish, and brings a sweet, Asian twist to the traditional pairing. A hint of ginger adds an element of warmth and spice that’ll play nicely with Pinot’s frequent aromatic flavors of clove and cinnamon. We recommend pairing it with Fire Road, from New Zealand.
Grilled Salmon or Tuna
Many people think of white wines when pairing with fish. However, the rich and full flavor profile of salmon requires a Pinot with decent acidity and a solid tannin structure to hold up to the distinct flavor, texture, and fat of the fish.
Pinot noir and mushrooms is a match made in heaven. The earth-driven palate of many contemporary Pinots make for a great complement to various mushroom dishes, whether they are a mushroom risotto, or a savory cutlet of beef topped with a mushroom sauce.
Roasted Pork Loin with Herbs
Pinot Noir is one of the best wines to pair with dishes containing earthy herbs. When roasting a pork loin, we recommend finding a dish that combines onion powder, thyme, garlic, and chives. The fat and protein elements in this dish will match with a medium-bodied, cooler climate Pinot.
Pinot Noir and Cheese Pairings
A few classic Pinot Noir and cheese pairings are: Brie, Camembert, Gruyere, and goat cheese. Try a combination of these with a sliced baguette, or sesame crackers, along with spreadable fruit (such as raspberry or artisanal peach jam), and you’ll instantly up your gourmet appetizer game.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
One romantic food pairing for Pinot Noir is a succulent strawberry coated in chocolate. We recommend staying away from dark chocolate for this pairing. Instead, stick with milk and/or white chocolate. The lighter tannins and flavors of strawberry and raspberry found in many Pinot Noirs make excellent playmates with a chocolate covered strawberry treat.
Enjoy celebrating National Pinot Noir Day! For more food friendly pinot noir recommendations ask the wine experts working at your local Spec’s.
For more information please see the list of Best food with pinot noir