Pinot Noir and Appetizer Pairings

Pinot Noir and Appetizer Pairings

Pinot Noir is one of the most popular wines, in part because the flavor profile is so broad, depending upon where and how the Pinot Noir was produced. Pinot Noir has a medium-low tannin content and a medium-high acidity, making it easy to drink. Fruit notes in Pinot Noirs are commonly cranberry, raspberry and cherry. Other notes that distinguish Pinot Noir include sweet notes like vanilla, caramel, licorice and cola, and earthy notes of mushroom, wet leaves and tobacco. Because of these flavors, Pinot Noir is one of the most versatile pairing wines available. Below, find some of the best appetizers to pair with your Pinot Noir.

Cheese Plate
Perhaps the first food that springs to mind when you think about wine pairings is cheese. There is a cheese that works with every wine, and there are several that pair wonderfully with a Pinot Noir. If you are serving a light Pinot Noir, be sure to include goat cheese on your cheese board. If you have a Pinot Noir that is more full-bodied and rich, try Brie, Camembert, Gruyere and Comte (sometimes called Gruyere de Comte) cheeses. A rich Pinot Noir also pairs well with mild blue cheeses, like Gorgonzola dulce.


While the cheese plate usually gets all of the attention, a charcuterie platter is just as easy to assemble and can provide a variety of flavors to suit the tastes of your guests. Cured turkey sausages are great to include on your platter, especially if the Pinot Noir you are pairing these items with is an elegant, silky Pinot Noir, such as a top red burgundy style Pinot Noir. If your Pinot Noir is more light and fresh, you will want to include ham, especially a smoked country ham, and other charcuterie favorites such as pates and terrines. A particularly pleasing pairing is a lamb shank terrine with a light Pinot Noir. Other meats you might want to include as a part of your charcuterie platter include prosciutto, a smoky chorizo and even bacon.

Stuffed Mushrooms
Mushrooms are one of the most classic pairings for Pinot Noir wines. Bacon stuffed mushrooms are sure to be a crowd pleaser when paired with a slightly chilled glass of Pinot Noir. The earthy notes of Pinot Noir perfectly echo the earthy taste of mushrooms and the slightly smoky tobacco flavors in the wine harmonize well with the bacon. A mix of bacon, breadcrumbs, minced onions and a little bit of cream cheese stuffed into mushroom caps will showcase the versatility of your favorite Pinot Noir.

When it comes to pairing Pinot Noir wines with appetizers, there are tons of foods you can serve. Cheese, meat and mushrooms are all very classic, yet impressive, appetizer pairings for Pinot Noir. Remember, pair your Pinot Noir with appetizers that appeal to you, because eating and drinking what you love is the most important rule of food and wine pairing.

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