Skip to Content

What Does Pinot Noir Taste Like? A Guide to This Popular Red Wine

Pinot Noir is one of the most popular red wines in the world, but what exactly does it taste like?

Known for being a more delicate and nuanced wine, Pinot Noir offers a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other reds.

In this article, we will explore the taste of Pinot Noir, what makes it different, and how to enjoy it best.

What is Pinot Noir?

Before we dive into its taste, let’s understand what Pinot Noir is.

Pinot Noir is a red wine made from the black Pinot Noir grape.

This grape is finicky and challenging to grow, which makes the wine more expensive than other red wines.

Pinot Noir primarily grows in cooler climates.

Famous regions include Burgundy in France, the United States’ Pacific Northwest, and New Zealand.

There are other regions globally that grow Pinot Noir, but these areas are the most renowned.

What Does Pinot Noir Taste Like?

Pinot Noir has a unique taste that distinguishes it from other red wines. Its primary taste profile includes cherry, raspberry, and cranberry. These tastes are incredibly vibrant and fruity and are complemented by a light to medium body with a low tannin content.

The low tannins make the wine smoother and simpler than other red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

Due to the grape’s sensitivity, the wine also has a more delicate aroma than other red wines.

Expect to smell hints of cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla. These scents come from the wine’s aging process and barrel usage.

Overall, Pinot Noir offers a fruity, light-bodied, and delicate drinking experience.

How to Enjoy the Taste of Pinot Noir?

Pinot Noir pairs well with most meals and is a versatile wine to have on hand.

Here are some tips to enjoy Pinot Noir:

  • Chill it – Pinot Noir is good even when chilled. It is refreshing and excellent during the summer months.
  • Decant it – When you decant Pinot Noir or let it breathe for a while, the taste improves. Decanting lets the fruitiness develop and the wine’s aroma to enhance.
  • Pair with light meals – Pinot Noir goes well with light meals and is the perfect wine to have during the day. It pairs well with seafood like salmon, crab, and sushi.
  • Pair with cheese – Pinot Noir also pairs excellently with cheese, especially soft cheeses like brie and camembert.
  • Serve it in a wide glass – When you serve Pinot Noir in a wide glass, it helps with the aroma and allows the wine to breathe more.
  • Age it – Pinot Noir can age well, so if you have a few bottles, keep them for five to ten years for a heightened experience.

Variations of Pinot Noir

The taste profile of Pinot Noir can vary depending on the region and how the wine is made.

Here are a few region-specific variations:

Oregon Pinot Noir

Oregon Pinot Noir is known for its light body and fruity taste profile. It has a bright cherry aroma with hints of earth and spice.

Burgundy Pinot Noir

Burgundy Pinot Noir is the most expensive and coveted version of this wine. It offers a more delicate taste profile, with subtle fruit flavors and a light body.

New Zealand Pinot Noir

New Zealand Pinot Noir has a unique taste profile, with ripe red fruit flavors, particularly cherries and raspberries. It also has a bit of spicy notes and earthy tones and is light to medium-bodied.

California Pinot Noir

California Pinot Noir is fruitier than other versions, with a taste profile of black cherry, plum, and blueberry. It has a rich, full-bodied texture with a hint of vanilla and smoke.


Pinot Noir is a unique and delicate wine that offers a fruity and light drinking experience.

It has a bright and vibrant flavor profile with a low tannin content that sets it apart from other red wines.

To fully appreciate its flavor, chill it, decant it, and pair it with light meals or soft cheeses.

And if you are looking to try different variations, explore Oregon, Burgundy, New Zealand, and California Pinot Noir.

In short, Pinot Noir is a must-try for wine enthusiasts who enjoy fruity, light-bodied, and nuanced flavors in their wine.

Website | + posts

Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.