Pinot Noir pairs best with dishes with a hint of earthiness such as Veal Marsala, Mushroom Pasta, Grilled Salmon, Shepherd’s Pie, Beef Wellington and Lamb Chops.  Pinot Noir is a light, acidic and fruity red wine with a subtle earthy kiss that makes for an elegant and food-friendly red wine.  It’s the perfect red wine to bring to a holiday or family dinner as Pinot Noir pairs great with ham, turkey, beef, salmon and chicken.  Pinot Noir is also acidic, meaning it will pair well with anything containing tomatoes such as pasta, stew, or pizza.

The earthy flavours of Pinot Noir also make it excellent with bacon or dishes featuring bacon such as Pasta Carbonara, Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin, or Meat Lover’s Pizza.  Aside from the earthy flavours of Pinot Noir complementing the smoky bacon flavours, the light and fruity flavours of this red wine also offer up a refreshing contrast against the saltiness of this cured meat. In a similar fashion, Pinot works well with the smoky and salty seasonings of Sausage and Sausage dishes.

Pinot Noir is also a difficult wine to grow.  Often nicknamed the heartache grape, stellar vintages only seem to appear once every decade or less.  In recent years, California has been producing some amazing Pinot Noir, along with Oregon, British Columbia and New Zealand.  Poor examples of Pinot Noir also exist, where wine producers market cheap versions of the grape, which are filled with synthetic colouring and flavourings.  If your bottle of Pinot Noir costs less than $35, it might not taste bad, but it will never taste amazing as good Pinot Noir is expensive to make.

What is Burgundy Wine?

In France, Pinot Noir is referred to as Burgundy, and these are among the most collectable and expensive wines available.  That’s the allure of Pinot Noir, however.  When you find that perfect bottle, the heavens open wide open, and you’ll chase that fleeting dragon for the rest of your life.  Pinot Noir is a wine that seduces you with its subtle complexity of fruit and funk.  Wild strawberry and cherry tantalize your taste buds with their flirty sense of fun, while truffle, earth, mushroom, forest floor and spice elegantly wisp in and out of focus, teasing you and driving you mad.

I will have a separate blog on Burgundy pairings at a future date.

What is Pays d’Oc Pinot Noir?

Pays d’Oc has a hotter and drier climate than Burgundy, which makes for Pinot Noir that is less elegant and complex.  While you can still find great Pinot Noir from Pays d’Oc, expect intense flavours of blackberry, coffee and green bell pepper and a much lower price tag.

I will do a separate blog for Pays d’Oc and Pinot Noir at a later date.

Best Food with Pinot Noir

Pinot NoirSalmon
Pinot NoirTacos
Pinot NoirPork Tacos
Pinot NoirBacon
Pinot Noir - New WorldChicken Adobo
Pinot NoirBeef Wellington
Pinot NoirReblochon Cheese
Pinot NoirCherry
Pinot NoirChicken
Pinot NoirRoasted Chicken
Pinot NoirDuck
Pinot NoirRoasted Duck
Pinot NoirHam
Pinot NoirTandoori Chicken
Pinot NoirMushrooms
Pinot NoirMorel Mushrooms
Pinot NoirWild Mushrooms
Pinot NoirPasta with Mushrooms
Pinot NoirPork
Pinot NoirPork Loin
Pinot NoirQuail
Pinot NoirMushroom Risotto
Pinot NoirShark
Pinot NoirSwedish Meatballs
Pinot NoirSoy Sauce
Pinot NoirSwordfish
Pinot NoirGrilled Tuna
Pinot NoirTurkey
Pinot NoirTurkey Roasted
Pinot NoirBaked Beans
Pinot NoirRotisserie Chicken
Pinot NoirTuna Steak
Pinot NoirChinese Food Takeout/Buffet
Pinot NoirPotato Leek Soup (with bacon)
Pinot NoirPad See Ew
Pinot NoirPhiladelphia Roll (Sushi)
Pinot NoirCottage Pie
Pinot NoirShepherd's Pie
Pinot NoirVeal Marsala
Pinot NoirPork with Clams
Pinot NoirToro
Pinot NoirMatsutake/Shiitake
Pinot NoirSalmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank
Pinot NoirBeijing Roast Duck
Pinot NoirPork Tenderloin
Pinot NoirMurg Makhani
Pinot NoirGrilled Trout
Pinot NoirSplit Pea & Bacon Soup
Pinot NoirBeef
Pinot NoirBeef Rib Roast
Pinot NoirRoast Beef
Pinot NoirBrie Cheese
Pinot NoirCamembert Cheese
Pinot NoirCheddar Cheese
Pinot Noir - OakedBeef Brisket
Pinot NoirEdam Cheese
Pinot NoirGruyère Cheese
Pinot NoirPont-L'eveque Cheese
Pinot NoirVacherin Cheese
Pinot NoirCoq Au Vin
Pinot NoirGarlic Chicken
Pinot NoirCinnamon
Pinot NoirCod wrapped in Bacon or Pancetta
Pinot NoirCoriander
Pinot NoirCumin
Pinot NoirGrilled Duck
Pinot NoirDuck with Mushrooms
Pinot NoirDuck à l'Orange
Pinot NoirPeking Duck
Pinot NoirFennel
Pinot NoirFish
Pinot NoirCantal Cheese
Pinot NoirFoie Gras
Pinot NoirGame
Pinot NoirGame Birds
Pinot NoirGrilled Dishes
Pinot NoirHot Dogs
Pinot NoirHummus
Pinot NoirKidneys
Pinot NoirLamb
Pinot NoirLiver
Pinot NoirMacaroni and Cheese
Pinot NoirMexican Cuisine
Pinot NoirMustard
Pinot NoirNutmeg
Pinot NoirPheasant
Pinot NoirPizza
Pinot NoirPizza with Mushrooms
Pinot NoirGrilled Pork Chops
Pinot NoirRoasted Pork Chops
Pinot NoirGrilled Pork
Pinot NoirRabbit
Pinot NoirRed Snapper
Pinot NoirGrilled Red Snapper
Pinot NoirSalade Niçoise
Pinot NoirSpinach Salad
Pinot NoirPasta Puttanesca
Pinot NoirSquab Roasted
Pinot NoirFilet Mignon
Pinot NoirSteak Tartare
Pinot NoirSweetbreads
Pinot NoirTeriyaki
Pinot NoirTomato
Pinot NoirTruffles
Pinot NoirVeal
Pinot NoirVeal Chops
Pinot NoirVeal Roasted
Pinot NoirVenison
Pinot NoirBluefish
Pinot NoirSalmon Burgers
Pinot NoirPulled Pork
Pinot NoirTurkey Burgers
Pinot NoirPerogies
Pinot NoirPasta with Cheese Sauce
Pinot NoirWood Pigeon Casserole
Pinot NoirMozzarella Tomato Salad
Pinot NoirPoutine
Pinot NoirWhite Chocolate
Pinot NoirQuiche Lorraine
Pinot NoirMussels in a Tomato Broth
Pinot NoirChicken Pot Pie
Pinot NoirMaguro - Tuna - Sushi/Sashimi
Pinot NoirGyuu no Tataki Sushi/Sashimi - raw beef
Pinot NoirBasashi Sushi/Sashimi
Pinot NoirShiitake Tempura
Pinot NoirBamboo Shoots Tempura
Pinot NoirLotus Roots Tempura
Pinot NoirBeef Katsu - Without Sauce
Pinot NoirMixed Yakitori in Sauce
Pinot NoirToriniku Yakitori
Pinot NoirToriniku Yakitori (chicken) in Sauce
Pinot NoirTsukune Yakitori (minced Chicken) in Sauce
Pinot NoirLamb with Tzatziki Sauce
Pinot NoirYakisoba
Pinot NoirSukiyaki
Pinot NoirDumplings, Asian
Pinot NoirGyuu-soboro (sweet ground beef)
Pinot NoirSumashi-jiru (clear broth soup)
Pinot NoirPotato Salad
Pinot NoirLamb Chops in a Mushroom Sauce
Pinot NoirTamales
Pinot NoirPasta Carbonara
Pinot NoirCroque Monsieur
Pinot NoirBarbecue Chicken Pizza
Pinot NoirRavioli
Pinot NoirAgnolotti - Pasta
Pinot NoirBo Kho - Vietnamese Beef Stew
Pinot NoirFaggot
Pinot NoirXao chua ngot - sweet and sour pork ribs
Pinot NoirBeef Tenderloin
Pinot NoirPetite Tender
Pinot NoirLentil Soup
Pinot NoirReuben Sandwich
Pinot NoirHungarian Goulash
Pinot NoirSalisbury Steak
Pinot NoirPaella Valenciana
Pinot NoirLemon Sauce EscargotEscargot Cooked with Chicken Stock
Pinot NoirLemon Sauce EscargotEscargot à la Bordelaise
Pinot NoirRau Muong Xao Mam Tom
Pinot NoirBun Moc - Pork Soup - Vietnamese
Pinot NoirCanh Dua Chua Thia La - Mustard Leaf Soup
Pinot NoirPho Bo - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup
Pinot NoirTom Rang Thit Ba Chi - Prawns & Pork Belly
Pinot NoirBo Bia - Sausage Spring Rolls
Pinot NoirBo Tai Chanh - Vietnamese Beef Carpaccio
Pinot NoirBun Cha Ha Noi - Pork Patties and Noodles
Pinot NoirBún Nem Nướng - Pork Meatballs
Pinot NoirBun Thit Nuong - Grilled Pork and Rice Noodles
Pinot NoirCam Kho Qua - Vietnamese Bitter Melon Soup
Pinot NoirCom Tam Tau Hu Ky Suon Bi - Pork Chop with Broken Rice
Pinot NoirDau Hu Nhoi Thit - Braised Stuffed Tofu
Pinot NoirLuoi Bo Nau Ruou Vang - Beef tongue with wine
Pinot NoirNem Chua - Fermented pork cakes
Pinot NoirNem Nuong - Pork patties
Pinot NoirSan Choy Bau Heo - Minced pork on leaves
Pinot NoirOpor Ayam
Pinot NoirTripe
Pinot NoirPizza Rolls - Pizza Bites
Pinot NoirChicken Peri Peri
Pinot NoirCorned Beef and Cabbage
Pinot NoirRoasted Rack of Lamb
Pinot NoirKorma
Pinot NoirAloo Poshto
Pinot NoirBabi Guling
Pinot NoirSashimi - Fatty Fish
Pinot NoirDuck Rice
Pinot NoirAlmonds
Pinot NoirAnise
Pinot NoirAsian Cuisine
Pinot NoirBBQ Ribs
Pinot NoirBeef Carpaccio
Pinot NoirPrime Rib Roast
Pinot NoirBeef Stew
Pinot NoirStir Fried Asian Style with Orange
Pinot NoirBeets
Pinot NoirBerries
Pinot NoirBiryani
Pinot NoirBitter Food
Pinot NoirCapers
Pinot NoirCaraway Seeds
Pinot NoirCashews
Pinot NoirBeaufort Cheese
Pinot NoirChaumes Cheese
Pinot NoirColby Cheese
Pinot NoirComté Cheese
Pinot NoirCream Cheese
Pinot NoirFeta Cheese
Pinot NoirGloucester Cheese
Pinot NoirGoat Cheese
Pinot NoirJarlsberg Cheese
Pinot NoirMozzarella Cheese
Pinot NoirPort Salut Cheese
Pinot NoirRaclette Cheese
Pinot NoirSaint-Nectaire Cheese
Pinot NoirSwiss Cheese
Pinot NoirVermont Shepherd Cheese
Pinot NoirCheese Puffs
Pinot NoirCheese Straws
Pinot NoirCheese Sauce
Pinot NoirCheese Dishes
Pinot NoirFried Chicken
Pinot NoirChicken with Mushroom Sauce
Pinot NoirPoached Chicken
Pinot NoirCascabel Chilie
Pinot NoirChinese Cuisine with Duck
Pinot NoirChinese Cuisine with Meat Dishes
Pinot NoirCloves
Pinot NoirCornish Game Hen
Pinot NoirDuck with Black Pepper
Pinot NoirDuck Confit
Pinot NoirDuck with Fruit Sauce
Pinot NoirEel
Pinot NoirEggplant
Pinot NoirOmelette with Ham & Mushroom
Pinot NoirEpazote
Pinot NoirEscargot
Pinot NoirFajitas
Pinot NoirBlackened Fish
Pinot NoirFish with Mushrooms
Pinot NoirFlounder
Pinot NoirCheese Fondue
Pinot NoirGarlic
Pinot NoirBeef with Ginger
Pinot NoirHalibut
Pinot NoirHalibut Grilled
Pinot NoirHamburgers
Pinot NoirHorseradish
Pinot NoirHuitlacoche
Pinot NoirSeafood Jambalaya
Pinot NoirChicken Jambalaya
Pinot NoirRoasted Lamb
Pinot NoirMahi-Mahi
Pinot NoirMeatloaf
Pinot NoirMiddle Eastern Cuisine
Pinot NoirMint
Pinot NoirMonkfish
Pinot NoirPorcini Mushrooms
Pinot NoirPortobello Mushrooms
Pinot NoirNuts
Pinot NoirRosemary
Pinot NoirSage
Pinot NoirCobb Salad
Pinot NoirSalami
Pinot NoirBLT Sandwich
Pinot NoirTurkey Sausage
Pinot NoirChicken Sausage
Pinot NoirSea Bass
Pinot NoirFish Smoked
Pinot NoirSalmon Smoked
Pinot NoirBean and Bacon
Pinot NoirChicken Soup
Pinot NoirGumbo
Pinot NoirMushroom Soup
Pinot NoirSouthwestern Cuisine
Pinot NoirSpinach
Pinot NoirSquab
Pinot NoirSteak with Black Pepper
Pinot NoirSteak Cold
Pinot NoirSushi Salmon
Pinot NoirTabasco
Pinot NoirTabbouleh
Pinot NoirTarragon
Pinot NoirThai Cuisine
Pinot NoirThyme
Pinot NoirTurkey Leftovers
Pinot NoirVeal Braised Shanks or Shoulder
Pinot NoirWalnuts
Pinot NoirFettucine Alfredo
Pinot NoirCabbage Rolls
Pinot NoirStrawberries
Pinot NoirGrouper
Pinot NoirVegetarian Stir Fry
Pinot NoirGrilled Cheese Sandwich
Pinot NoirChicken Alfredo
Pinot NoirTuna Casserole
Pinot NoirJambalaya
Pinot NoirPad Thai
Pinot NoirCornbread
Pinot NoirScalloped Potatoes
Pinot NoirCarrot Tempura
Pinot NoirVeggie Burgers
Pinot NoirGarlic Bread
Pinot NoirBaked Ziti
Pinot NoirSpaghetti and Meatballs
Pinot NoirChimichanga
Pinot NoirManhattan Clam Chowder (Tomato Based)
Pinot NoirPork Schnitzel
Pinot NoirThai Beef Salad
Pinot NoirGeneral Tso's Chicken
Pinot NoirAmerican Goulash
Pinot NoirJamón Ibérico
Pinot NoirChicken Burger with Grilled Pineapple & Goat Cheese
Pinot NoirChicken Shawarma
Pinot NoirChicken Fried Steak
Pinot NoirPasta Primavera
Pinot NoirLemon Chicken Pasta
Pinot NoirFocaccia
Pinot NoirBruschetta
Pinot NoirTrout, Baked
Pinot NoirLobster
Pinot NoirOsso Buco
Pinot NoirKielbasa
Pinot NoirKit Kat Candy Bar
Pinot NoirCorn Dog
Pinot NoirSeafood Macaroni and Cheese

Oregon Pinot Noir and Grilled Salmon Pairing

Grilled Salmon and Pinot Noir is a holy grail of food, and wine pairing as both the Salmon and the wine make each other taste incredibly better.  Salmon is a fatty fish and packs a lot of flavour that the black fruit flavours of an Oregon Pinot Noir can easily hold up to.  Meanwhile, the bright acidity of the Pinot Noir shears right through the richness of the Salmon releasing the meat’s beautiful flavours as acidity also acts as a flavour enhancer.  The richness of the Salmon also brings out the refreshing blackberry, black cherry, and plum flavours of your Pinot Noir, creating a velvety and silky experience on your tongue.

With Oregon Pinot Noir, you’ll also get hints of mushroom, mocha, black tea and truffle that are able to seduce you easier as they mesh with the flavours of your grilled Salmon.  It’s an amazing pairing and should be tried by everyone who enjoys food and wine at least once.

What’s the Difference between California and Oregon Pinot Noir?

California Pinot will be more fruit-forward with candied notes of strawberry and red cherry.  You may also find some oak which will give it hints of vanilla and chocolate in your Pinot Noir. In general, the wine is more robust and richer than Oregon Pinot Noir and should be drunk within 3 to 5 years.  For the best Pinot Noir from California, seek wines from cooler climates such as Sonoma, Carneros and the Russian River Valley.  Often these bottles will be expensive as only small batches are made.

Oregon Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley mirrors that of Burgundy in that you’ll find more earthiness and mushroom flavours.  Oregon Pinot Noir is less candied than California Pinot Noir, lower in alcohol and have more black fruit than red fruit flavours.  Thus, expect hints of black cherry, plum or blackberry.  Unlike Burgundy, which can be aged for decades, Oregon Pinot Noir should be drunk young.

In terms of popularity California is a bigger crowd pleaser than Oregon when it comes to Pinot Noir.  Fruity and vibrant, the best selling Pinot Noir from California are mass produced and often uses oak to mask the earthier flavours of Pinot Noir with vanilla and chocolate.  There is nothing wrong with this style and it has its place.

Pork Tacos & Pinot Noir Pairing

Pinot Noir is incredibly food-friendly due to its high acidity, low tannin and light and fruity flavours.  As Pork Tacos can contain a wide variety of ingredients, the food-friendly nature of Pinot Noir makes it a star with this dish.  The forest floor flavours of Pinot Noir are a delight with the earthiness of any refried beans or grilled vegetables in your Pork Tacos.  Meanwhile, the high acidity of Pinot Noir ensures it doesn’t clash with the acidic salsa in your Pork Tacos.

The real star of the show is the marinated Pork in your Tacos, which will have a sweet and smoky flavour.  The perceived sweetness of Pinot Noir with its cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavours get along charmingly well with the sweetness of the marinated pork.  Meanwhile, the smoke, spice, and truffle flavours complement the savoury and spiciness of your Pork.

Light in body, Pinot Noir won’t overwhelm the delicious Pork flavours.  Pinot Noir also proves to be exceptional with similar fare that includes a wide variety of ingredients such as Chicken Burritos, Fish Tacos, Lamb Gyros or Shawarma.

Mushroom Pasta & Pinot Noir Paring

The mushroom, truffle and forest floor flavours of Pinot Noir love anything mushroom-based, so it’s no surprise that Pinot Noir is delicious with Mushroom Pasta.  If your Mushroom Pasta is in a creamy sauce, the high acidity of Pinot Noir cuts right through the richness of the cream, butter and parmesan cheese, allowing the earthy flavours of the Mushrooms to shine brightly.  Creamy sauces clog our taste buds up, muting flavours after several bites, however, the acidity found in Pinot Noir ensures that this will not be an issue.

If your Mushroom Pasta is in a tomato based sauce, Pinot Noir’s high acidity can also handle this dish.  Tomato and tannin do not mix well, as the tomatoes’ acidity makes the tannin taste metallic and flat.  With Pinot Noir being low in tannin, and high acidity, you’ll find that it is a lovely pair with any pasta tossed in a red sauce.

Shepherd’s Pie and Pinot Noir Pairing

Shepherd’s Pie is a lamb-based dish where your leftover lamb is baked into a savoury pie containing mashed potatoes, root vegetables, peas, corn, and gravy.  You may also find it called Cottage Pie, however, in this instance, beef or pork is used instead of lamb.  And of course, there is Chicken Pot Pie.  No matter what style of savoury pie you’re serving up, the food-friendly vibrancy of Pinot Noir will make it a hit wine pairing with Shepherd’s Pie.

With Shepherd’s Pie, many people find the gamy lamb flavours unappealing.  The beauty of Pinot Noir is that its light but fruity flavours of cherry, plum, strawberry, and raspberry help mask those gamy flavours of the lamb.  The truffle and mushroom flavours also complement the savoury flavours of the lamb along with any mushrooms or earthy root vegetables in your meat pie.

The bright acidity of Pinot Noir also cuts through the heavy carbohydrates and fats found in the starches and gravy baked into your pie.  This is important as starch and fat can easily overwhelm our taste buds.  This clogging, causes all the flavours of Shepherd’s pie to stall out after a few bites.  With one sip of Pinot Noir, your taste buds are kicked back into first gear as the acidity of the wine whisks all the fats and carbohydrates away.

Croque Monsieur & Pinot Noir

Croque Monsieur is a high-end grilled cheese sandwich that hails from France.  Aside from cheese, Croque Monsieur also includes slices of ham and a smear of zesty Dijon mustard. Croque Monsieur will delight and tease every sense with its sumptuous flavours and buttery but crisp crust.

Pinot Noir, with its cherry, raspberry and strawberry notes won’t overpower this delicious sandwich. Instead, the lively acidity of Pinot Noir cuts through the cheese and buttery bread crust, enhancing the flavours of the ham, cheese and Dijon mustard.  Meanwhile, the smoky and earthy notes of Pinot Noir complement sweet but savoury flavours of the ham.

Discover More Pairings