by Paullette Gaudet
Pinot Noir is a delight every day of the year, but August 18th has officially been designated National Pinot Noir Day here in the United States. Presumably meant to be a day of reflection on how this great grape and wine has enriched our lives, we also assume it is meant to include the imbibing of a glass or two of its inky gloriousness, perhaps in a rousing game of Pinot Noir Or Dare (which is really just drinking wine while committing minor larceny). But…what if you’re not the biggest fan of red??
Well, you are in luck because Chardonnay is actually related to Pinot Noir, the result of a natural crossing of the humble medieval grape Gouais Blanc (near extinct, now) and Pinot Noir. This explains their frequent proximity in the vineyard, so if anyone at the Pinot Party throws shade on your Chard, raise a glass and give ’em a history lesson. More good news is that there is indeed a White Pinot Noir. A touch obscure, this wine is made like a white (i.e. in the absence of skins), but with red wine grapes. The color ranges from almost-clear to a deep, bright yellow; the taste presents with strong baked apple and pear, touched with hints of honey and ginger. Paired best with cream-based soups and sauces (and especially with mushrooms!), White Pinot Noir can be appreciated on its own for its zest and complexity. Celebrate all the Pinots with a glass of your choice: Traditional, White, or Chardonnay!