Pinot Noir is the most highly prized wine in the world. But why? It’s not as rich or big as its noble cousins, in fact it’s quite the opposite. Pinot Noir wines are pale in color, translucent and their flavors are very subtle. The grape itself is weak, suffering from a variety of diseases and its genetics make it highly susceptible to mutation. Despite the difficulty in growing the grape, prices for a bottle of Pinot Noir are generally more than a similar quality red wine.
I like to think of Pinot Noir as a catch-all food pairing wine. Pinot Noir is light enough for salmon but complex enough to hold up to some richer meat including duck. In a pinch, when everyone orders a vastly different entree at a restaurant, you can usually win by picking Pinot Noir; it will make everyone happy.