When Your Red Wine Is White Instead
WRITTEN BY DONNA BROUSSEAU
I love poking about the dusty bin ends in my local liquor store. Hey, don’t judge; we all have our hobbies. Like American Pickers but for the wine junkie, it's the thrill of the hunt: You never know what treasures you might uncover. A few months back, on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, I hit the jackpot with a white Pinot Noir.
A contradiction in terms, you might say? You could say that, especially if you’ve ever swiped a red grape off the vine during a wine tour and were surprised to find the pulp inside white. In fact, all red wine grapes, except for a Teinturier have white pulp. Squeeze a handful, and the juice runs clear. It’s the skin that dyes the juice the gorgeous red hues.
The making of a white Pinot Noir is an arduous process. To begin with, the Pinot Noir grape is notoriously fickle and hard to grow, hence the huge price tag on exceptional ones. The winemaker is additionally challenged with immediately having to separate the skins during maceration, before any pigment and tannins can bleed into the wine. It’s not an easy task and must be carried out quickly with a gentle hand and meticulous attention to detail.
White Pinots have been produced all over the world, having been vinified in Europe for decades as Pinot Nero Bianco in Italy, Pinot d’Alsace in Alsace, Blanc de Noirs in France and Spätburgunder in Germany. More recently in America. fantastic bottles have been coming out of Oregon and California.
Excerpt is from an article featured in the summer issue of Flavors Magazine, subscribe today and don't miss a single issue!
LEFT COAST CELLARS WHITE PINOT NOIR, $24
I called Jeff Madsen, owner of the cool and laid-back Brookhaven Wines, to see if he had any white Pinot Noir. He said, “This is a cult wine, and you’d better get down here quickly. This stuff flies off the shelves.” After my first sip, I could see why. This wine offers a really big bang for your buck. It’s easy and interesting to pair with summer dishes or just share with friends. At this price, you’d better get two.
Aroma and flavor: Lovely aroma of peach and rainier cherries followed up on the palate alongside a bracing acidity with a lingering earthy finish.
Perfect pairings: Grilled vegetables, mushroom dishes, barbecue pork or by itself for sipping.