Sweet Oaks 2018 Pinot Noir – Tasting Notes and Pairings

One of the world’s most popular grape varietals, Pinot Noir is renowned for producing light-bodied, enjoyable wines. It has become increasingly popular with American winemakers and is now the third most widely grown wine grape variety in the United States, after Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. This is understandable, as the wines made from this grape burst with forest fruits, a hint of violet, and game elements that can be given increasing complexity and interest when the wine is aged, even for just a few short years. 


Of course, the Pinot Noir grown in the beauty of Southern California enjoys prime growing conditions — sunny, warm days give ripeness and cool nights tempered by the cooling power of the ocean air lead to premium grapes that can be made into premium wines. Having the right climatic conditions is particularly important as Pinot Noir is notoriously hard to grow. Find out more about this wine and the ideal Pinot Noir pairings that can accompany it below.


Little Fun Fact: Did you know that August 18 is Pinot Noir Day?


Tasting Notes for the Sweet Oaks 2018 Pinot Noir

This wine immediately appeals visually because of its distinctively rich, ruby red hue. On the nose, you will notice ripe raspberries and clove aromas, which are intermingled with a hint of sweet, new French oak and sagebrush. This complex set of scents tells us that the wine has been matured carefully in new oak and given some delightful secondary flavors to complement the primary fruit flavors that are characteristic of the varietal and one reason that Pinot Noir pairings are so satisfying.


When you drink the Sweet Oaks 2018 Pinot Noir red wine, you will notice that there is an intriguing note of crushed spices and pomegranate to be found nestling happily alongside those red berry fruit savors. It is the typical red raspberry and cherry fruits that dominate but the slightly more sour flavors of pomegranate and cranberry are present too, expressing the wine’s excellent acidity level which keeps it well-structured and pleasant to drink. The layers of flavor also include those oak and sage elements as well as more of that spicy clove character. The wine finishes dry and fresh and will certainly benefit from a few years in cool, stable conditions, whether or not you have access to a wine cellar.


Ideas for Pinot Noir Pairings

Delicious Pinot Noir pairings rely on matching the weight and flavor profile of your wine with the food you use to accompany it. This complex wine offers a wide range of options, whatever the occasion. That is due to its moderate nature — it has moderate tannin, acidity, and body — and it is quite easygoing when it comes to pairing well with food. Just as cherries make a great match with duck, so you can add the cherry flavors of this great Pinot Noir to duck dishes to create a delightful harmony. This is especially true of pan-fried duck breast, where much of the fat has been rendered from the skin, leaving it crisp. A sprinkling of cinnamon spices up the dish and complements the spicy notes that the oak has added to the wine.


If you are not a meat-eater, you may like to try Pinot Noir pairings with mushrooms. There is a certain “forest floor” and savory quality to an aged Pinot Noir that is reflected in the profile of mushrooms and means that the two will go well together on the table. If you are feeling short on inspiration, why not give this Spicy Mushroom Larb recipe a go? The main elements are mushrooms, spices, and peanuts, which will create a punchy pairing with your Sweet Oaks wine.


If you are looking for a great cheese to go with this wine, think hard cheeses for the best match. Try an aged Manchego cheese for a full-on flavor combination that is totally irresistible. That can be added to a range of other Spanish-style nibbles if you want to make a meal out of it — Pinot Noir’s versatility means that you could add olives, chorizo, perhaps even a dish of emerald green and sea-salt flecked Padron peppers to whip up a beautiful tapas selection to enjoy with your glass of rich ruby liquid.


If you have a sweet tooth, you might enjoy pairing this slightly fuller Pinot Noir with a bar of dark chocolate, even something that is based on dark chocolate with caramel — like this tempting dark chocolate and caramel crème brûlée recipe.


Check out the available wines that Sweet Oaks offer through our online shop.


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