Pairing Pinot Noir

Eric Guido is back with a fantastic pairing menu for Pinot Noir


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Oregon, Willamette Valley

With California and Burgundy out of the way, I find myself thinking about Oregon. For me, Oregon is one of the most exciting regions for Pinot Noir. It’s a fact that these wineries struggle to make good wine from vintage to vintage, but in the end, the best examples are some of my favorite Pinots year in and year out. Many would say that these wines are closer to Burgundy than the riper styles of California, but that’s a broad generalization. Yet speaking in broad generalizations, my opinion is that Oregon finds a perfect middle ground between both regions.

With a menagerie of floral fruit and spice on the nose, clean and pure, focused fruits on the palate, and a delicate yet seductive feminine frame, the Bethel Heights Casteel Reserve was the perfect wine to pair with Broiled Salmon. I know some people will gawk at red wine with fish, but Pinot Noir doesn’t always behave like red wine (and salmon is a hearty fish). This pairing will prove it to any doubters. The salmon contrasts and complements the Pinot on the palate, just as the Pinot’s bouquet is a perfect counter-point to the tarragon in this recipe.

2008 Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Casteel Reserve - At first pour, the nose was stunning with ripe strawberry, cinnamon spice, a dusting of brown sugar and a basket of floral notes. With time, earth tones and floral undergrowth emerged. On the palate, it was soft, light-bodied and feminine, showing red berries, a hint of spice and herbal tea. On the finish, drying tannin lingered along with ripe strawberry and cedar. (91 points)

Broiled Salmon image via Shutterstock

Mentioned in this article


Comments

  • Snooth User: zinfandel1
    Hand of Snooth
    154660 968

    The recipes look absolutely wonderful. I want to try them all. However, I'm a little leary about the pinot noir with salmon.

    Nov 19, 2012 at 1:23 PM


  • Snooth User: Eric Guido
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    92549 143,486

    I know it's hard to make that connection with the Salmon until you've tried it but I assure you it works. Get yourself a Oregon Pinot that's from a producer that's not looking for overly extracted or super-fruity pinot. Someone whose going for more of a Burgundy expression in Oregon. You'll be happily surprised.

    Nov 19, 2012 at 2:40 PM


  • Snooth User: NorthwestWinestoYou
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    421082 68

    Some of the best salmon in the world comes from the Pacific Northwest and it is as much a staple for most Oregonians as Grits are to the folks in the south. So as hard as it is to imagine, rest assured, most Oregon Pinot Noirs were born to be mated to a deliciously and perfectly grilled fresh line caught salmon. Having a hard time putting a red wine with the dish? Go for one of several incredible and delicious white versions of the grape being produced in the region. Such as Ghost Hill Cellars Pinot Noir Blanc or others listed in several recent articles in publications such as Sunset Magazine, MIX (based in Portland, OR) http://www.oregonlive.com/mix/index... or Eugene's Register Guard (http://www.registerguard.com/web/sp...). Trust me, you'll be amazed!

    Nov 19, 2012 at 3:20 PM


  • Pinot Noir is excellent with salmon. We have long made that pairing here living in the Pacific Northwest (Canada included). The savoury and heavier nature of the fish is complemented by the structure and flavour of the wine. I agree with the advice above to grill - keep it simple and it is perfect.

    Nov 19, 2012 at 3:27 PM


  • Snooth User: napagirl68
    Hand of Snooth
    87843 2,446

    Eric, a wonderful article as usual. I always look forward to seeing your wine/food pairings, as your advice is spot on. Snooth needs to have you write weekly, but that would prolly take up a lot of your time!! Keep it comin!

    BTW- I am allergic to all fish:-(, but my friend from out of state made a wild salmon to serve with the Sonoma Pinot I sent her. She said the pairing was divine.

    Nov 19, 2012 at 5:52 PM


  • Snooth User: Dennis Sherman
    Hand of Snooth
    1121374 24

    Pinot and salmon is superb! Just make sure you do not over cook the fish....you need that juiciness and the suave oiliness. We like it roasted until it just barely flakes. We often serve it with a Burgundian 'meurette' sauce.

    Nov 20, 2012 at 4:24 AM


  • The Oregon Pinot / Salmon is right on! This is a classic pairing in my mind. The regional differences of Pinot are to me, greater than any other varietal. The only miss in the article to me is that there is a vast difference between Northern Cal (Russian River) Pinot vs. Southern Cal (Santa Barbara) juice. Nice article!

    Nov 20, 2012 at 10:14 AM


  • Snooth User: Eric Guido
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    92549 143,486

    Thanks everyone, I had a lot of fun writing and pairign for this article. If I keep this up, i might end up one of those people that's obsessed with Pinot. I have to say that the ones from Oregon and New Zealand really made a lasting impression. Not to take away from the rest, but those two are still fresh in my memory.

    Nov 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM


  • Snooth User: SM
    1097030 218

    Dear Mr. Guido an interesting article and a good introduction and essay about the wonderful Pinot Noir grape.

    I was somewhat saddened to hear that you make no mention though of European Pinot Noir past the Alto Adige, as Spatburgunder has been grown in Germany for the last 700-800 years and now with global warming and greatly improved wine techniques the quality has vastly improved.

    And in Germany you can find a wide range of Pinot Noir starting from a supermarket easy drinking from 7 US$ up until a Groses Gewachs single vineyard for 60 US$. Yes a Vosne-Romanee or Gevrey-Chambertin it will never be, but if you are going to include Central Otago, Martinborough and the Willamette Valley then include Baden and Ahr in your Pinot Noir guide.

    Please understand that I mean no disrespect or disregard for these exceptional terriors, their wine making styles or wine makers; simply I believe you should have a more well rounded approach to your writing. You could even go the distance and include Austria and Hungary in this list for the adventurous types.

    Cheers & Happy New Year!

    Solomon Mengeu

    Dec 29, 2012 at 1:29 AM


  • I agree about the pairing suggestion they have chosen, I think Pinot Noir gives his best, with these type of food, beef made with thick sauces, lamb, pork even some fishes like salmon. But I also tried some pasta with mushrooms or some type or stew, in Argentina we are making fine Pinot Noir specially from south of the country in Rio Negro and Neuquen. In the article its mentioned also Merlot, that has some points in common with Pinot Noir, in pairing matters, I think that also true, and in the "terroirs" I just mentioned they grew together.

    Dec 30, 2012 at 7:30 PM


  • Its sweet :)

    Aug 03, 2013 at 12:10 AM


  • Its superb

    Aug 03, 2013 at 1:41 AM


  • Its really good :)

    Aug 03, 2013 at 1:46 AM


  • Marvelous...!!

    Aug 03, 2013 at 6:13 AM


  • Good one

    Aug 05, 2013 at 4:47 AM


  • Its sweet :)

    Aug 05, 2013 at 4:58 AM


  • Thats very good

    Aug 12, 2013 at 2:05 AM


  • Snooth User: hollydray
    1331306 37

    Really good

    Aug 13, 2013 at 4:46 AM


  • Eric, a wonderful article as usual.

    Aug 14, 2013 at 12:24 AM


  • Thats very good

    Aug 17, 2013 at 1:48 AM


  • really nice....

    Aug 20, 2013 at 2:29 AM


  • Really good

    Aug 30, 2013 at 6:03 AM


  • fabulous

    Aug 30, 2013 at 10:25 AM


  • Snooth User: WesZemel
    1338755 33

    wonderful

    Sep 04, 2013 at 11:25 AM


  • great one

    Sep 05, 2013 at 5:19 PM


  • really good

    Sep 06, 2013 at 12:53 AM


  • outstanding

    Sep 06, 2013 at 8:30 PM


  • Thats brilliant

    Sep 07, 2013 at 12:41 AM


  • Awesome

    Sep 07, 2013 at 4:41 AM


  • Snooth User: irategoal
    1339624 38

    This is beautiful.

    Sep 07, 2013 at 5:03 AM


  • Thats stunning

    Sep 07, 2013 at 5:51 AM


  • woww nice

    Sep 08, 2013 at 10:42 AM


  • Snooth User: lumpyflink
    1339865 37

    nice collection

    Sep 09, 2013 at 4:12 AM


  • great collection

    Sep 10, 2013 at 12:04 AM


  • Snooth User: gunsblack
    1341059 34

    Thats terrific...

    Sep 11, 2013 at 12:42 AM


  • amazing

    Sep 11, 2013 at 4:36 PM


  • Great article and paring, love the salmon one.

    Sep 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM


  • Useful...!!

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:54 PM


  • Fabulous, love it

    Sep 13, 2013 at 10:26 AM


  • Italy, wow wow wow, looks amazing...

    Sep 17, 2013 at 2:46 AM


  • Absolutely love this article. Thank you!!

    Sep 18, 2013 at 4:05 AM


  • Amazing pairing notes, thank you

    Sep 19, 2013 at 3:07 AM


  • Thats incredibly good

    Sep 19, 2013 at 3:25 AM


  • Good one

    Sep 20, 2013 at 1:20 AM


  • Snooth User: MatildaEva
    1368891 18

    WOW, incredible!

    Sep 20, 2013 at 3:51 AM


  • nice one

    Sep 20, 2013 at 10:45 AM


  • Snooth User: panelgrove
    1370044 33

    Thats remarkable

    Sep 23, 2013 at 12:51 AM


  • Snooth User: ToSLawyer
    1369283 31

    Very nice

    Sep 23, 2013 at 4:49 AM


  • Snooth User: winkscete
    1372394 30

    Thats remarkable

    Sep 24, 2013 at 1:04 AM



  • Thats beneficial

    Sep 26, 2013 at 1:49 AM


  • amazing

    Sep 26, 2013 at 3:40 PM


  • Its really good :)

    Sep 27, 2013 at 4:57 AM


  • Snooth User: samoangrid
    1379445 33

    Awe-inspiring...!!

    Oct 07, 2013 at 12:07 AM


  • Snooth User: knotbirds
    1380229 34

    The Oregon Pinot / Salmon is right on! This is a classic pairing in my mind. The regional differences of Pinot are to me, greater than any other varietal. The only miss in the article to me is that there is a vast difference between Northern Cal (Russian River) Pinot vs. Southern Cal (Santa Barbara) juice.

    Oct 09, 2013 at 3:19 AM


  • Thats interesting

    Oct 09, 2013 at 10:49 PM


  • Snooth User: burlypear
    1383363 35

    Thats terrific...

    Oct 17, 2013 at 7:14 AM


  • Snooth User: baldytrip
    1385272 33

    Great article and paring, love the salmon one.

    Oct 21, 2013 at 11:00 PM


  • Snooth User: languidbox
    1385782 33

    The Oregon Pinot / Salmon is right on! This is a classic pairing in my mind. The regional differences of Pinot are to me, greater than any other varietal. The only miss in the article to me is that there is a vast difference between Northern Cal (Russian River) Pinot vs. Southern Cal (Santa Barbara) juice.

    Oct 23, 2013 at 5:19 AM


  • Snooth User: wildunique
    1390221 33

    Eric, a wonderful article as usual.

    Oct 31, 2013 at 12:04 AM


  • Thats interesting

    Nov 04, 2013 at 3:13 AM


  • Amazing

    Nov 05, 2013 at 12:55 AM


  • great

    Nov 05, 2013 at 12:56 AM



  • Thats magnificent

    Nov 07, 2013 at 4:16 AM


  • Snooth User: poleerst
    1400658 33

    Eric, a wonderful article as usual.

    Nov 08, 2013 at 12:23 AM


  • Its astonishing :)

    Nov 08, 2013 at 4:56 AM


  • wonderful...

    Nov 09, 2013 at 5:05 AM


  • Snooth User: purrflimsy
    1400671 35

    wonderful...

    Nov 11, 2013 at 1:32 AM


  • Its fantastic :)

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:22 AM


  • Snooth User: tribezeal
    1409982 34

    extremely good...

    Nov 19, 2013 at 12:37 AM


  • Snooth User: jmacstory
    1410141 35

    Good one

    Nov 19, 2013 at 4:55 AM


  • Its useful :)

    Nov 26, 2013 at 1:34 AM


  • Snooth User: dullmagic
    1422725 26

    Thats neat...

    Dec 11, 2013 at 4:43 AM


  • Great article and paring, love the salmon one.

    Dec 11, 2013 at 4:44 AM




  • Its ideal

    Dec 12, 2013 at 12:57 AM


  • Good one

    Dec 12, 2013 at 1:38 AM


  • Its sweet

    Dec 12, 2013 at 11:15 PM


  • Excellent

    Dec 13, 2013 at 3:50 AM


  • Thats exceptional...

    Dec 15, 2013 at 11:12 PM


  • Its incredibly good

    Dec 16, 2013 at 12:28 AM


  • Snooth User: fitssling
    1426660 33

    impressive :)

    Dec 17, 2013 at 11:54 PM


  • good

    Dec 18, 2013 at 12:05 AM


  • Its fantastic :)

    Dec 19, 2013 at 11:34 PM


  • Thats very good

    Dec 20, 2013 at 5:26 AM



  • Marvelous

    Dec 21, 2013 at 2:20 AM


  • Thats astounding...

    Dec 28, 2013 at 1:34 AM


  • Snooth User: kaputscrub
    1451630 33

    NICE

    Jan 09, 2014 at 11:55 PM


  • Thats exceptional...

    Jan 15, 2014 at 11:32 PM


  • Tremendous...!!

    Jan 16, 2014 at 4:32 AM


  • Thats cold

    Jan 16, 2014 at 5:03 AM


  • Snooth User: nicemind
    1454655 32

    fabulous

    Jan 16, 2014 at 10:06 PM


  • Its brilliant

    Jan 17, 2014 at 2:08 AM


  • Great article and paring, love the salmon one.

    Jan 21, 2014 at 11:08 PM


  • Snooth User: bluffpole
    1456192 32

    nice :)

    Jan 22, 2014 at 5:34 AM


  • Thats great...

    Jan 23, 2014 at 5:04 AM


  • Snooth User: alertable
    1460203 33

    Its spectacular

    Jan 29, 2014 at 2:16 AM




  • Spectacular...!!

    Feb 01, 2014 at 1:38 AM


  • Snooth User: tokcowboys
    1461497 33

    Great article and paring, love the salmon one.

    Feb 01, 2014 at 4:51 AM



  • Magnificent...!!

    Feb 04, 2014 at 12:23 AM


  • Eric, a wonderful article as usual.

    Feb 04, 2014 at 12:53 AM



  • Thats awe-inspiring...

    Feb 06, 2014 at 1:00 AM


  • Magnificent...!!

    Feb 23, 2014 at 10:45 PM



  • Thats ideal

    Feb 24, 2014 at 12:19 AM


  • Snooth User: friedtoys
    1471719 32

    good

    Feb 24, 2014 at 12:59 AM


  • Snooth User: bryanchen
    1474329 33

    Thats remarkable

    Mar 03, 2014 at 4:00 AM


  • Snooth User: mistywax
    1475372 33


    Its cool :)

    Mar 06, 2014 at 2:26 AM


  • Snooth User: luckjoiner
    1475796 33

    Thats very good

    Mar 07, 2014 at 4:54 AM


  • Snooth User: wesguthrie
    1476154 33

    Thats very good

    Mar 08, 2014 at 1:20 AM


  • Snooth User: hamgreasy
    1476950 33

    super

    Mar 10, 2014 at 12:01 AM


  • Thats fascinating

    Mar 11, 2014 at 12:58 AM


  • Snooth User: popcornpop
    1484172 33

    Its stunning

    Mar 28, 2014 at 3:10 AM



  • Exceptional...!!

    Mar 28, 2014 at 4:37 AM



  • Thats phenomenal

    Mar 31, 2014 at 5:36 AM


  • Exceptional...!!

    Apr 04, 2014 at 12:50 AM


  • Snooth User: jumboneedy
    1487285 33



    Beneficial

    Apr 04, 2014 at 2:39 AM


  • Snooth User: aloofhill
    1487781 33

    Thats cool...

    Apr 05, 2014 at 4:44 AM


  • Snooth User: cofflesour
    1488585 33


    Its striking :)

    Apr 07, 2014 at 1:12 AM


  • Snooth User: pullriding
    1488598 32

    Neat...!!

    Apr 07, 2014 at 2:22 AM


  • Snooth User: markflock
    1488586 33

    The Oregon Pinot / Salmon is right on! This is a classic pairing in my mind. The regional differences of Pinot are to me, greater than any other varietal. The only miss in the article to me is that there is a vast difference between Northern Cal (Russian River) Pinot vs.

    Apr 07, 2014 at 2:30 AM


  • Snooth User: beerbetter
    1489014 34

    Thats impressive...

    Apr 08, 2014 at 4:42 AM


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