Mornings With Gina Birch

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Popping Corks For Pinot Noir Day AND Wine Wednesday. The two events nearly coincide this week. National Pinot Noir Day is celebrated every August 18th

Pinot noir is revered worldwide. It is often referred to as the heartbreak grape for many reasons including it’s thin skin. In addition, the grapes grow in tight clusters. Problems that arise from this include rot and uneven ripening. However, when the stars align, and the grapes are healthy, they make a divine wine.

Food Wine

The best thing about pinot, it that it makes such a great food wine. The wines are typically full of earthy, sometimes herbal characteristic. The result is wine that compliments a variety of  seasonings. In addition, the elevated level of acid in most, make them ideal to cut through fat. I’m thinking about an herb encrusted rack of lamb now. Mmmmm

That’s what I’m talking about. Popping corks for Pinot Noir Day AND Wine Wednesday.

Where is the best pinot from?

This grape is grown all over the world but there are a few places where it thrives. It does best in cooler climates. In California, Sonoma produces some beautiful pinots. Oregon, is renowned for its pinot too. However, the mothership is Burgundy, France. It’s where the vines originate and where the bar is set pretty high. In addition,  the prices are pretty high too.


  • Harvesting pinot noir in Burgundy

    I was able to visit Burgundy during harvest several years ago and it was so exciting. I was able to go into the cellar of the exclusive Domaine Fornier and do some barrel tasting with the winemaker. I was in pure heaven. Just look at this. You might have to click the blank link to load the video. It’s worth the effort.

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  • David Paige

    David PaigeLast night, I sipped on the David Paige Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

    Pinot noir lovers might know David Paige from his time at the highly acclaimed Adlesheim Vineyards. He is credited with putting them on the map. Now he is on his own making eponymous wines that are delightfully good. This one was had lots of fresh raspberry and cherry along with balanced acidity. $40

  • Balletto

    Balletto Wines
    Several years ago I visited Balletto Vineyards in Sonoma tasting through their wines with the owner and winemaker. We sat under a trellis dripping with blooming flowers. Aaaahhhhh take me back.

    The Balletto family has been farming since the 70’s and they are widely known for making beautiful pinot noir. The most recent one I’ve tried is the 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, although the 2019 is now out. It was nice and aromatic, fruity (cherry, strawberry) but also savory. It has it all. $32

  • Clay Shannon Pinot Noir

    Clay Shannon Pinot NoirI was recently sent a bottle of Clay Shannon to try and then it seems I saw the wine everywhere. This one is from Lake County, California. Founder Clay Shannon established his wine growing ranch in 1996 where he and his team take sustainability seriously.

    Several tiers of wine are made here but Clay Shannon is the signature label. This pinot is a little rustic with some playful flavors of cherry cola. Great with food. $40

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