Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pinot Noir

We recently hung out with a friend that loves pinot noir. He didn't really know what pinots he liked, so it got me thinking about what pinots I like.

Let me make this clear. I am no expert. I just know what I like.

Pinot noir is such a great, lighter red wine that is always a crowd pleaser. It's a great bottle to grab when you are going to a dinner and you don't know what you are eating. Pinot noir is low in tannins, which makes it very versatile when pairing with food.

I particularly like pinots from:

Russian River Valley - CA
Otago - NZ
Willamette Valley - OR
Anderson Valley - CA

When shopping for pinot noir, I'm usually happy when I stick to ones from these areas. If I had to pick, I would say Anderson Valley is always one of my favorites. My husband and I had a great trip up to Anderson Valley a few years ago and were lucky enough to taste A LOT of their wines. Their pinots are delicious and always priced very reasonably. Some of my favorites come from: Navarro, Esterlina, Toulouse, and Lazy Creek.

Business is booming up there because over the last ten years the pinot noir acreage has tripled. I always encourage people to go to Boonville in the Anderson Valley if they are looking for a great wine country experience that is a little off the beaten path. I say it feels like what Sonoma probably felt like 25 years ago. It's a total hidden gem, the wines are fantastic and there are beautiful redwood parks to hike in when you need a break from wine tasting. The Boonville Hotel and The Philo Apple Farm are both great places to spend a night or two. So fun. I want to go back!