In my job, I spend a lot of time with dictionaries. So wasn’t I surprised when today I saw that “Pinot” is the second most popular search term in the US on oxforddictionaries.com! It’s even trending!
I find this is interesting. Why the sudden in interest in Pinot in the States?
The only thing I can think of is that scene with the music video from the Netflix TV series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. And while I appreciate that this scene from an oddball Tina Fey–produced comedy may be sparking interest in wine, I fear that people may get the wrong idea, given that the song is actually an ode to a dark male appendage. That said, no press is bad press, right?
But is that really it? Is that really why Pinot is the 5th most popular Oxford Dictionary search IN THE WORLD right now??
In an effort to distract myself from these questions, here are some of the wine regions around the world specializing in pinot noir. Note that this list is by no means exhaustive:
Bourgogne (France) – the original pinot noir – a medium-bodied wine tasting of cherry, fresh red fruit, mushroom and mineral (from the limestone soil in which the grape is grown). It is lower in tannin than most wines since it spends less time on oak, and has high acidity. Its colour is more garnet than ruby red. I like the Albert Bichot.
California – Cali’s pinots tend to be bigger than the average pinot, due to a longer growing season in this warmer climate. I personally enjoy the Robert Mondavi.
Oregon – Oregon pinots are making quite a name for themselves and gaining in popularity on the world market. Their characteristics are much more subtle than their Cali counterparts and make for a refined quaff. As a result, they tend to be on the pricier side (starting at $22). I tried the Duck Pond pinot when I was in DC and quite enjoyed it.
New Zealand – These cold-climate pinots are medium bodied, with yummy fruit and earthiness. They are often grown in the same regions as sauvignon blanc. Try the Kim Crawford.
Pinot noir’s typically high acidity, paired with its lighter body, makes it a perfect food wine. Someone once said it’s the black jeans of wine—it just goes with everything!
On that note, I’m off to have a glass of Pinot Noir to ponder this some more. Leave a comment if you have any other ideas as to why Pinot might be getting so much attention these days…