Archive for February, 2011

10 February 2011

Romancing the Pinot Noir

Three handsome Australian men, Central Otago Pinot Noir and sumptuous cuisine – what more could a girl ask for? This was Feast Restaurant in Cromwell just a week ago – a dinner hosted by Central Otago Winegrowers for three visitors from Melbourne. Our special guests for the evening were Ben Edwards, Chris Crawford and Dan Sims – sommeliers, matchmakers, composers of the finest wine and exquisite cuisine. They came to share their passion – their new wine venture, Pinot Unearthed.

Their charm and infectious enthusiasm would captivate any audience. Somewhat smitten by these handsome young men, I listened intently as Ben spoke of their wine journey and how all three had fallen passionately in love – with Pinot Noir that is. It was going to be an interesting evening given the vast number of Pinot Noirs sitting on the table.

So what is it about Pinot Noir that arouses such strong emotions? This fickle grape variety with its temperamental nature, often described as the ‘heartbreak’ grape – and can see the viticulturist, winemaker (not to mention the vineyard owner) delve into the depths of despair. But they often say that nothing worthwhile is easy and Pinot Noir is one of these things. At the Pinot Noir Celebration (27-29 Jan 2011), guests and enthusiasts from as far a way as Sweden and Scotland descended into the resort town of Queenstown to embrace all things Pinot Noir. Wine lovers seduced, waxing lyrical about this elusive grape variety. Pinot Noir more than any other wine, has the power to seduce and arouse the senses in a physical, emotional and spiritual way. With the alluring notes of “earthy, truffle, gamey”, Pinot Noir’s aromas have been likened to human pheromones – those that stimulate sexual attraction.

So it’s no wonder that so many of us have been captivated by this enchanting wine variety with its rather capricious personality. Like Ben, Chris and Dan (the three sommeliers), there will be many others that will follow a similar path – a journey in search of the “holy grail of wine” that we call Pinot Noir. Whether it’s the romance ‘of the wine’ or ‘in the wine’, for me it doesn’t really matter – With Valentines Day just around the corner I know I will be kissed by an angel – Archangel Pinot Noir that is – a memorable way to celebrate this romantic occasion!