I could not tell you the first time I fell in love with Pinot Noir. I’ve written about various Pinot Noir wines on the blog, and I’ve loved most, if not all of them. I’ve also not written about hundreds of other Pinot Noir bottles that I’ve enjoyed with family, friends and .. well .. alone. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting J Christopher’s Appassionata Vineyard, a joint venture with Dr Loosen in Oregon, producing spectacular Pinot Noir. I’ve also had the pleasure visiting Hahn Family Wines, which not only makes great Pinot Noir, but in 2008 was the first live video streaming tasting I did as a blogger. Those two fabulous wineries were actually part of the catalyst for making me fall in love with Pinot Noir again.
I actually visited both Hahn and J Christopher in the same week, which was also the week of my 40th birthday. My much better half, Robin, planned a fantastic birthday dinner, and it was during this dinner that my love for Pinot Noir was rekindled, or perhaps set ablaze. The meal was at Casanova in Carmel by the Sea, an old house turned into a restaurant that serves European food, Italian, Spanish and French styles. The menu is full of amazing dishes, and Robin and I had the best meal of our lives that night. Additionally, the wine list is quite impressive, and they do have a sommelier on hand to help with selections. After we selected our main courses, Robin having cannelloni with meat sauce, and I ordered rack of lamb, I slowly poured over the wine list. There were a few 1970′s, and I was tempted to order one. I resisted however, and settled on what would be one of the most amazing bottles of wine I ever had. I selected a Domaine Pierre Damoy 2000 Chambertin-Clos de Beze, a Burgundy red made from, of course, Pinot Noir.
I will be the first to tell you that it’s often the experiences around a wine that makes the wine so good. The company you enjoy it with, the festivities surrounding it’s pouring, that’s what makes the wine so good. Of course, the wine maker and the grapes play a role, an important one, but the situation can take a mediocre bottle of wine and make it good, and a good bottle of wine and make it fantastic. Damoy makes great wine, and has for years. If you’re a ratings follower, Spectator has rated the Chambertin-Clos de Beze 90+ every year since 1998. However, it wasn’t just the grapes in the glass that made this wine spectacular. It was pouring the right wine, with the right people, at the right time, that made it sing that evening.
The wine was a perfect fit for both dishes. It harmonized delightfully with the pasta, as well as the lamb. It was of feminine character, reminding me rose petals laced with black pepper, and was soft and sensual and inviting. We could have sipped on a second, and probably a third bottle, and enjoyed it well into the night. It was positively perfect, and I would love to get my hands on some to savor at a later date. However, what made this my PinotMoment was the fact that I was with someone I love, doing something I love, celebrating life. And that’s what wine is for me, something I love, and a way to celebrate life. So, raise your glass and toast to life with me.
Why not leave a comment below. When was the last time you had a Pinot Noir? Or celebrated life with wine? What’s your PinotMoment?