If you want to discover Oklahoma wines that are unique and delicious, it can always help to ask wine experts and enthusiasts to name a few of their favorites. As one of the world’s most popular red wines, it is likely that Pinot Noir will be near the top of their recommendations.
Produced with black-skinned grapes that thrive in cooler climates, a well-made Pinot Noir is complex and elegant. It has a subtle and nuanced flavor that is primarily earthy but contains bright notes of various fruits. As such, if you want to buy local wines from your favorite winery or vineyard, a Pinot Noir is always an excellent choice.
Discover Oklahoma Wines: What Makes Pinot Noir Special?
Whether you are new to wine tasting or an established connoisseur, you can surely enjoy the many unique qualities of this wine. Part of what makes Pinot Noir so special is the way that its many characteristics combine into an overall pleasant wine.
If you are interested in pairing your Oklahoma wines with your meal, Pinot Noir is an excellent starting point. This wine is light- or medium-bodied with bright acidity. Its low tannin count makes it pleasantly dry without becoming overwhelming or too bitter. These characteristics make Pinot Noir a good pairing for any meal, but it is an especially good choice to enjoy with duck, chicken, pork, or mushroom dishes.
A large amount of Pinot Noir’s unique complexity comes from its beautifully balanced flavor profile. While it is earthy, Pinot Noir has dominant (but not overpowering) notes of raspberry, cherry, cranberry, and vanilla. When enjoyed slowly, some of the more subtle notes of the wine can be recognized, specifically, its hints of caramel, licorice, and tobacco.
To fully appreciate Pinot Noir’s flavor profile, it helps to follow the 4 S’s of wine tasting:
- See: observing the wine’s color and clarity can prepare your palette.
- Swirl: gently swirling the glass will enhance the wine’s flavor and aroma.
- Sniff: taking in the scent will let you know what to expect from its flavor.
- Spit/Savor: take a slow sip to determine the mouthfeel and overall taste.
Of course, you can still enjoy a glass of good Pinot Noir without following these wine tasting steps.
A wine’s most dominant notes, body, and overall flavor are partially determined by the climate where the Pinot Noir grapes were produced. The climate can also affect the wine’s Alcohol By Volume. Cooler climates often lead to a more delicate and lighter-bodied wine with an ABV of 12-13.5%. Pinot Noir grapes that are produced in warmer climates will lead to a riper and fuller-bodied wine with an ABV of 13.5-15%.
Where to Buy Local Wines
If you are interested in trying out locally-made Pinot Noir or any other varieties of quality wine, be sure to visit the wineries and vineyards that are part of the Oklahoma Grape Industry Council. Whether you are a long-time enthusiast or new to wine tasting, you are sure to discover some excellent Oklahoma wines.