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Pinot Noir: The Delicate “Heartbreak Grape”
23 Apr, 2019
Unanimously known as the most romantic red wine in the world, Pinot Noir, is a true delicacy of the Burgundy region. The exquisitely light wine with lingering aromas and low but fine tannins are sure to make a person weep, whether it be with the joy of having such an amazing wine or with despair as the last drop of wine disappears from the glass into the mouth.


The Heartbreak Grape from Burgundy
Pinot Noir grapes are susceptible to genetic mutation and very difficult to ripen, and the skin of the grapes are thinner than normal grapes, making it more prone to damage from external factors such as frost and hail. Hence, aptly nicknamed the “Heartbreak Grape”, Pinot Noir wines are more difficult to produce and are often priced higher than other wines. Speaking of nicknames, “Red Burgundy” refers to Pinot Noirs that are produced in Burgundy, the home of these heartbreak grapes.


How about a Non-Burgundy Pinot Noir?
Alsace, another French wine region located between Burgundy of France and south west of Germany, benefits from both the regions it is sandwiched between. Therefore, Alsace also produces Pinot Noir wines, and these are the only red wines that can be produced in Alsace. These Alsatian Pinot Noirs are getting traction around the world, so why not try our Alsace Pinot Noir, Domaine de la Tour Blanche, 2016?


A Garnet Wonder
The colour of Pinot Noir wines are often described as garnet. They are generally much lighter and more translucent than other red wines, and its pale ruby qualities indicate that they are light-bodied. Alsatian Pinot Noirs are generally light red too, ranging from dark pink to crimson colours.


Fruity with Some Surprises
Pinot Noir wines offer a wide variety of aromas that the sheer complexity may overwhelm a wine beginner (of course, not deterring the novice from drinking the wine). A typical Pinot Noir bouquet includes cherries, plums, raspberries, currents, blue- and blackberries for fruity aromas, and truffles, fresh mushrooms and gravel for earthy aromas. A traditional red Burgundy may even offer “barnyard” aromas such as leather, savoury spices and fallen leaves.


The Alsatian versions embody aromas of raspberries and cherries, and especially tinges of the region’s trademark spice. If you’re trying our Domaine de la Tour Blanche from Alsace, look out for the hints of spices and blue flowers!


Elegantly Light
Wines made from heartbreak grapes offer fine, elegant tannins that are light, and that almost make you feel a gentle heartbreak. They are usually light- to medium-bodied, but still supple enough for you to feel that rich acidity at the joint of your jaw. The finish is persistent, and you can dwell on the complex, lingering aromas long after taking a sip.


Food pairing
Pinot Noir wines are versatile when it comes to food pairing. First of all, it pleases both red and white wine drinkers. It also has enough body and crispness that can counter both light and heavy dishes. Great food to pair includes duck, pork, veal, chicken, turkey and mushrooms, which are grilled and roasted with light sauces and spices.


The Domaine de la Tour Blanche can handle BBQ chicken wings, pâté en croute (meat loaf) and sausages. Asian dishes such as har cheong gai, beef bulgogi and dim sum are great pairings as well.


Pinot Noir’s Cousin: Chardonnay
Chardonnay, such as the Meursault, is the white-wine-counterpart of Pinot Noir that represents the Burgundy wine region. The two grapes are related to each other as Chardonnay is a natural crossing between Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc, the latter of which is a near-extinct grape variety. This is why you will almost always find Chardonnay and Pinot Noir growing together in the same region, such as in Burgundy, Oregon (US) and Chile.


Try an Alsatian Pinot Noir for yourself here!  


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