Wine Musings: Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo & even a Merlot

imageAnother non-mommy post… or really, a “Mommy likes her wine” post. The past couple of weeks I have been really surprised by a couple of the wines we picked up. Before getting pregnant I was on a Pinot Noir kick so I had a few bottles still left in the wine rack to try. I usually enjoy reds … especially a nice Barolo or Nebbiolo. As far as lighter fare – I typically go towards Pinot Noir & Gamay Noir – a wine really gets me on the hook if there is a pepper-y finish. I tend to stay away from Merlots (I cannot type that word without hearing Paul Giamatti say “I am not drinking any F*!@ing merlot) and Cab Sauv’s – no particular reason besides I think a Pinot usually tastes better for me and goes better with the meals I tend to cook.

I am in no way a wine critic or expert taster. My philosophy is usually “If it’s red it’s probably good.” Plus after the first two glasses anything tastes OK.

Pinot Noir – In order of Most to Least Favorite

First up for this post is a 2012 Duck Pond Pinot Noir from OREGON. I was not expecting much from this (I mean, it’s from Oregon) but it turned out to be absolutely fantastic. Beautiful rich color, a bit of cherry and finishes with just a tiny bit of spice. This bottle did not last long in our house!

Second was a Pinot Noir from Bourgogne. Also a surprise for a French Pinot Noir. A bit heavier than the Duck Pond and a tiny bit more of a punch. I think I was surprised by the amount of rich flavor this had for a Pinot Noir.

Third up and most disappointing was the 2012 Arcturo’s Pinot Noir by Blackstar Farms in Traverse City, Michigan. We live pretty close to Traverse City and usually the Pinot’s from there are outstanding. We are part of their red wine club which delivers two bottles of red wine quarterly. It was a bit too light and tangy for my taste. I always enjoy a light Pinot Noir that is easy to drink but I could not get past the oakiness of it. This is a good wine but definitely could not stand up to the first two mentioned.



I have yet to taste a Nebbiolo or Barolo I didn’t like and this one is no exception. Bonus – it’s rather inexpensive coming in at under $25 at our local LCBO I will be going back to get a few more bottles. Lighter than what you what expect from a nebbiolo and full of fresh fruit and a bit of a nutty flavor. Yes. Please. If you are hosting people for dinner and looking for a great red – BUY THIS!


I unfortunately do not have a picture of the 2012 Arcturo’s Merlot from Blackstar Farms. Since I was not expecting to be impressed by this wine we made the tragic mistake of bringing it to my parent’s for dinner one night and SHARING it. Maybe it was because it didn’t taste as heavy as a typical merlot – or maybe after the second glass I was tipsy on Merlot and so it seemed like it was fantastic. Either way, we are ordering 6 more bottles so I can fully assess whether I love a merlot from MICHIGAN of all places. It was a bit dry but in no way finished heavy or filled your mouth with too much oak flavor. It reminded me of a fancy dressed up Pinot Noir which is probably why I loved it so much. When we get the other bottles in I will have to reassess my love for this wine and make sure it is as good as I remember it!

Are there any Merlots that are a must try?? Leave a comment and I’ll try to kindle a love for this poor little F@&*ing grape.



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