Sunday, February 10, 2008

I love a good, cheap Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is one of those good wines to have in the house.
As a red, it can pair with most meats nicely. As a lighter red, it can even work well with fish and light pastas.
One that I have been enjoying lately is the Mirassou Pinot Noir, 2006.
I found this at my local market on club discount at $6.99 a bottle. Even at the full price of $9.99 a bottle, this wine is a bargain.
I have recently paired it with the asparagus-prosciutto risotto, a basic spaghetti in red sauce with meat and mushrooms, the fish in garlic sauce and even just when I want a glass of wine for the sake of having a glass of wine.
The price tag was the first thing that caught my eye.
The second thing was the label. Yeah, I am a sucker for nice label graphics.
So how does it taste? Well, the fact that I bought one bottle at $6.99 and then, after trying it, went back and bought 6 more bottles, is a good indication that it does not suck.
Anyone who knows me knows that while I like cheap wine, I like GOOD cheap wine.
Sorry. I am not a fan of the two-buck Chuck they sell at Trader Joe's.
But I digress...
The 2006 Mirassou Pinot Noir is a fruity wine without being a sweet wine. There are lovely notes of berries and jam.
It has a hint of spice or pepper on the finish, which I love. But it is still smooth going down.
This wine does not fall flat as soon as you swallow it like some Pinots. There is a good finish that lingers, but is not a bitter or chalky aftertaste.
All in all, this is one of the nicest Pinots I have had since my trip to Oregon in 2004.
This is a California Pinot, with Mirassou being based in Modesto. Not exactly a chic wine-country address.
My guess is the grapes are from some other part of the state and the facility is in Modesto because real estate is cheaper there than in Napa or Sonoma or even Santa Barbara counties.
So, the gist of this is, if you like Pinot, get thee to your nearest market (Ralphs has it cheap if you are in SoCal), wine shop or liquor store and see if you can find it.

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