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WINE CLUB Varietal of the Month: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir was born in the Burgundy region of France where it is often referred to as red Burgundy instead of Pinot Noir. The wines from Burgundy have flavors of ripe red berries, sweet black cherries, mushrooms and what sommeliers call forest floor, which is the smell you get from freshly fallen damp leaves.

American-grown Pinot Noir can be divided into two categories: warm climate and cool climate. Warm-climate wines have more ripe fruit flavors and less acidity, while cool-climate wines still enjoy the heat of the season. As temperatures drop off close to harvest time, the acidity is preserved, and the fruit flavors become more tart.

Many warm-climate Pinot Noir wines come from Napa Valley, and the cool-climate varieties are from Sonoma County, specifically the Russian River Valley, Oregon and Washington.

“A difficult grape to grow, Pinot Noir achieves greatness in only a handful of places worldwide, and the Russian River Valley is one of those places. Our Pinot-perfect climate combined with an amazing complexity of soil types results in wines that not only reflect their individual sites but share a common thread. Aromas tend to be bright, focused fruit, ranging from wild strawberries and raspberries to red and black cherries. Notes of cola and baking spices are common. In the mouth, they are rich and velvety with their high degree of ripeness kept in check by bright acidity,” according to the Russian River Valley Winegrowers Association.

Wine of the Month:
Migration® Pinot Noir

Created by the Duckhorn® Wine Company to showcase Pinot Noir grown in the cool-climate winegrowing region of the Sonoma County Russian River Valley, this wine highlights the lush fruit, bright acidity and balanced oak of the aging process. Coastal fog and sandy loam soils have contributed to a Pinot Noir with beautiful, high-tone red fruit flavors of cherry, cranberry and strawberry with enticing hints of orange and cinnamon spice.

Classic Russian River Valley aromas of ripe red raspberry, Bing cherry and pomegranate erupt from the glass. These red-berry flavors resonate on the lush, silky palate, where they blend with blackberry notes and hints of French oak-inspired spice. This wine is barrel-aged for 10 months in French oak.

Food Pairings:
Pinot Noir pairs well with pork, lamb, salmon, mushrooms, truffles, Gruyere cheese and sharp cheddar. It is also a great choice for Thanksgiving as it complements roasted turkey and many of the side dishes.

Recipe:
Thanksgiving Turkey Cakes

(The perfect way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers.)

Ingredients:
4 cups leftover turkey meat, brown and white
1 cup stuffing
2 cups side dishes (potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green beans, corn, etc.)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs
cooking oil
cranberry sauce, turkey gravy or buns, for serving

Directions:
In a food processor, pulse each of the first 3 ingredients separately a few times to chop. Place in mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add eggs. Fold together; form into small cakes that are about 3 inches wide and 2 inches thick. Cook in a fry pan with a small amount of oil until brown on both sides and heated through. Serve with cranberry sauce, with turkey gravy or on a bun.

*Nutritional Information will vary depending upon the side dish combination used.

*Calories Per Serving: 195, Fat: 8 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 97 mg, Sodium: 224 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 22 g.

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Posted in: Beer & Wine, Recipes