Pinot noir people are a passionate lot. They boast of the challenges and finesse in growing such a delicate, finicky grape, which develops into such an elegant wine. They tout how pinot noir is the most food friendly wine in the world, and they abundantly showcase their refined bottles throughout the holidays. There is an abundance of pinot-specific events like Charlie Palmer’s famous Pigs & Pinot each spring in Healdsburg and the renowned International pinot noir celebration every summer in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. You don’t see this spotlight and fanfare for, say, syrah or sauvignon blanc.
Pinot noir is grown around the world, but two of the best regions are Burgundy, France, and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. In California, we look towards the Central Coast and Sonoma for top pinot. Around the world, you’ll find incredible pinot in New Zealand, France, Argentina, Germany, and Italy.
The great thing about this wine hobby is you have to drink wine to learn about wine. You can take your knowledge as deep as you’d, like including soils, climate, clones, barrels, regions, and vintages. We have two great Orange County pinot noir-specific events this week. Cucina Enoteca Irvine gives you a chance to experience pinot from several different parts of the world at their Wine Wednesday event. The Formaglini Vineyards event gives us an opportunity to taste how different a wine is from the same location in Oregon, but in different vintages.
Pinot on the Patio – Cucina Enoteca Irvine
Wednesday, Oct. 25
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Taste five pinot noirs paired with a specially curated antipasti spread ($36). I love the variety of regions and vintages poured, to be enjoyed on their ambient patio. Reservations and further details here.
2014 Albatross Ridge Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, Carmel Valley
2014 Gran Moraine Pinot Noir, Yamhill Carlton, OR
2015 Weingut Ebner Blauburgunder Pinot Nero, Alto Adige, Italy
2010 Domaine Vincent & Sophie Morey Les Passetemps Premier Cru, Santenay, France
2013 Scar of the Sea Pinot Noir, Central Coast
Formaglini Vineyards Annual Fall Tasting & Party
Sunday, Oct. 22
3 to 6 p.m.
Floral Park resident, winemaker David de Lancellotti, is owner of Formaglini Vineyards, an organic vineyard in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, which produces estate pinot noir. Each fall, de Lancellotti releases a vintage with a party and tasting in the backyard of his historic home in Santa Ana. This Sunday, de Lancellotti is launching his 2015 Formaglini Vineyards Pinot Noir as well as his 2015 Insieme Cuvee, a unique blend of pinot noir and lagrein. You’ll get an opportunity to experience a vertical tasting starting with the 2012 vintage, and have direct access to a chat with de Lancellotti. Further details here.