In the summer months, such as they are on the Emerald Isle, drinkers tend to leave their bigger red wines to one side apart from when firing up the barbie and devouring half a cow.
If you’re a determined red wine drinker, what should you be looking for on the warmer days? I put it to you that Pinot Noir might well be the answer. I will make my case:
- It’s lower in tannin so can pair with poultry and meaty fish (such as tuna steaks) as well as red meat.
- Among black grapes it’s relatively high in acidity which makes it refreshing.
- It’s lighter in body and can take a light chill – 30 minutes in a domestic fridge before bringing out to the patio will add some zip!
- You can choose a savoury edge from the old world (esp Burgundy or Germany) or a fruitier style from the New World depending on your fancy.
- Miles drank Pinot Noir in the cult wine film Sideways.
You know it makes sense!
Here’s a Pinot Noir that I recently test drove at a barbecue and really enjoyed:
Byron Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2012 (€25.49, O’Briens)
Santa Barbara County is the original home of quality cool climate Pinot in the States, and is indeed where Miles and Jack from Sideways went to try some delicious wine.
If you’re not familiar with the area you might not place it as an American wine at first; there’s minerality on the palate and a lightness of touch that can be missing from some US wines. The winemaker’s notes state that it spent 8 months ageing in 100% small French oak barrels, but the oak is already well integrated and does not jarr.
Redcurrant, red and black cherry, strawberry and raspberry fruit compete for your attention. Although very smooth and approachable, there’s a serious side to this wine – the acidity and savoury notes give it some gravitas.
Although this delicious Pinot Noir would be great for a drink outdoors at a BBQ, to be honest it would be a treat in any season and setting!
Disclosure: Sample was provided, but opinions are entirely my own