Wine grapes: Pinot noir
Blauburgunder (German-speaking Switzerland)
Clevner (traditional Swiss German name)
The bunch of Pinot Noir grapes looks like a pine cone - hence "pinot" or little pine!
Pinot noir has a long history. Specialists agree that a description by the agronomist Columellus in the first century AD matches the pinot noir grape. They believe that when Gaul was conquered by the Romans, pinot noir was already being grown. It is usually believed to be native to Burgundy, the region that remains its true homeland.
An admirable red wine grape, to which we owe the great wines of Burgundy and Champagne where it's blended with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier!
Pinot noir is recognizable by its faintly indented leaves with a strong even curl. The compact bunches are small to medium. The grapes are small and tightly packed around the bunch, spherical or slightly ovoid, with a thick skin. The juice is sweet and colorless. It's the coloring agents from the skin, which when dissolved into the juice, give these wines their sparkling hue. They provide a flavor of summer fruit.
Pinot Noir is also found in the red wines of the Jura and Alsace and rosés from Sancerre.
Wine and aromas
Cherry, black currant, licorice
Depending on the terroir and wine-making process, the wines are light and fruity, fine and delicate, some might even say feminine. However, they can become full-bodied and heady.
It's hard to give exact matches for pinots, given that their style differs from one producer to another. As a general rule, because of their finesse, they pair better with white meats or certain red meats. They can also be served with poultry or milder cheeses. Given their sophistication, you may want to drink a pinot noir just for itself, appreciating its finesse, delicacy, fruitiness and silky texture.
Vosne Romanée, Clos Vougeot, Pommard, etc
It is vinified alone or blended with other grapes. The best known wines are Salvagnin from the Vaud and Dôle from the Valais.
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