Paula’s Wines of the Week – 14th December 2020

Paula’s Wines of the Week – 14th December 2020

Top Ten Christmas Pinots

Both the red wine Pinot Noir and its white version Pinot Grigio make excellent choices for Christmas as their light fruity flavours are both crowd pleasers and festive food matchers – the cherry and strawberriness of Pinot Noir goes well with roast turkey while the easy drinking pear tart flavours of Pinot Grigio make it a favourite for afternoon sipping.

With both wines being called Pinot you would be right in thinking that they are related in some way – and it’s through their grapes that there is a connection. Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio are from the large Pinot family of grapes. There are other Pinots – Pinot Gris (Gris translating as grey because the grapes have a grey-pink tinge), Pinot Meunier (named after its dusty flour looking leaf and the old French word for miller or Meunier) and Pinot Blanc (the white Pinot). All these Pinots are mutations of each other.

But why call them Pinot? It’s all down to the fact that a bunch of Pinot grapes looks rather like a pine cone (or a pino in many European languages).

So why not get in these top-rated Pinots for Christmas? All are 4 or 5 star rated using the rating system and all available now in UK supermarkets and independents ready to enjoy.

Here are the Top Ten listed in ascending price from £5.49 to £8.92.

Aldi Specially Selected Castellore Pinot Grigio 2019
£5.49 Aldi
5 star rated
A complex wine that looks the part with its fancy embossed ultra-heavy bottle, and is also great value at only £5.49. Enticing aromas of fresh pear are mixed with almond and brown bread and the flavour adds apple pie. Pinot Grigio can be a flavourless wine but this version is well worth quaffing. Get it while you can.

Kleine Kapelle German Pinot Grigio 2018
£6 Co-op
4 star rated
This light-yellow German example tastes and smells of apple and almond cake. There’s a slight spritz (fizz) to the wine.

SPAR Wildflower Romanian Pinot Grigio 2017
£6.50 SPAR
4 star rated
This pretty yellow wine has inviting aromas of apple pie, lemon, orange and peach. While it’s creamy and crisp flavours are a match to the sweet-sourness of Thai cuisine.

Artusi Pinot Grigio 2018
£7 Co-op
5 star rating
White wines made with the Pinot Grigio grape can too often be disappointingly tasteless but this version bucks the trend and is complex and enjoyable. The inviting yellow-green tinge of the wine follows with tinned pear and melon aromas then finishes with fresh crisp apple, cut grass and tinned mandarin flavours. There’s even a touch of gooseberry crumble to top it all all off.

Co-op Irresistible 30 degree Chilean Pinot Noir 2019
£7 Co-op
4 star rated
All the classic Pinot Noir flavours are here – fresh cherry, chocolate and coffee with a touch of spicy liquorice. There’s enough mouth-watering acidity and oakiness to make this a good food match.

Doudet-Naudin French Pinot Noir 2018
£7.25 Co-op
4 star rated
This tasty red smells of smoky blackberry and cherry but is light in the mouth with a tinge of Marmite.

Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Chilean Pinot Noir 2019
£7.50 Sainsbury’s
4 star rating
A great wine with flavours of cherry and plum followed by darker nuances of coffee and rosemary.

Morrisons The Best Wild Ferment Single Vineyard Chilean Pinot Noir 2019
£8 Morrisons
4 star rated
Underneath the Morrisons label is the top Chilean winery Errazuriz – making this a great value example at £8. The “wild ferment” description tells us that the wine was fermented not with the usual commercially bought yeast but rather wild strains of yeast brought in from the vineyard and shown as a dusty bloom on the grapes. These wild yeasts can be tricky to control and the resulting wine can either be yuk or great. This one is great. Flavours of strawberry and raspberry along with deeper notes of burnt toast, chocolate and cherry.

Sanziana Pinot Grigio rose, Romanian
£8.25 Corney and Barrow, Hic Winemerchants
4 star rated
A pretty light pink rose with aromas of creamy strawberry, apple and pear. slight spritz on the taste adds interest.

Terraze Delle Luna Pinot Grigio Rosato 2018
£8.92 North and South Wines, Kwoff
4 star rated
The pink hues of the Pinot Grigio grape have been made into this pale salmon-coloured rose with aromas of light strawberry and pear. The taste has a grassy edge. An interesting wine.

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© Paula Goddard 2020