Pinot noir is one of the lightest and most accessible reds, particularly compared to full-bodied Australian stalwarts shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. Expect a taste of plum, cranberry, raspberry, cherry and other red fruits, before hints of vanilla, cloves, liquorice, cola and even tobacco take over. Its earthy undertones balance its natural fruitiness.
Is pinot noir sweet or dry?
The terms ‘dry’ and ‘sweet’ are used by the wine industry to declare levels of residual sugar in wine. Like almost all of Australia’s favourite reds, pinot noir has zero residual sugar, so is considered dry. But as even the most seasoned oenophiles will admit, wine-tasting terms can be confusing, and many people mistake ‘dry’ and ‘sweet’ for ‘earthy’ and ‘fruity’. On this scale, pinot noir is more of an earthy wine, despite its punchy red berry notes.
Should pinot noir be served cold?
Light-bodied pinot noir will benefit from being chilled to slightly lower than room temperature. This doesn’t change the structure or flavour of the wine itself, it just changes how your palate interacts with it. Serve pinot noir slightly cooler than a fuller bodied wine – aim for around 13C. There’s never been a better time to invest in a wine fridge.
Pinot noir food pairing
When it comes to food pairings, pinot noir is often considered a great match for a wide range of dishes due to its moderate tannins and acidity. Pinot noir pairs well with poultry and game birds, such as chicken, turkey or duck. Pinot noir also works well with roasted pork, stews, and the earthy nature of mushroom pasta dishes like risotto. Pinot noir's light to medium body and red fruit flavours can complement the delicate nature of salmon, especially when it's prepared simply with herbs or a light sauce. For dessert, pinot noir pairs beautifully with soft cheeses as the wine's acidity helps combat the richness of the cheese.