Working with spicy seafood: The Pinot Project
If you ask for a wine that will go with seafood, most of the time you’ll be guided over to a white wine. But once the seafood becomes a little oily or spicy, a Pinot Noir often works much better.
This is especially true when the Pinot has certain flavor characteristics that many people describe as having a “spicy bite”. These Pinots are often hard to find when you’re looking for them, so it’s a good idea to take note when you run across a Pinot with a little spice in its finish.
One of these spicy ones, from the 2009-2011 vintages, has been available here in the valley for over a year. It is simply called the “The Pinot Project” and looks like the result of a limited bottling arrangement using fruit from various California properties.
Most of the time, the store stock from these little wine adventures comes and goes, so it’s best to pick up some when they show up. But for now, The Pinot Project remains available at Phoenix area AJs for $14.99. It will probably stay at this price until their stock is depleted, but they will take orders if necessary.
Because of its interesting finish, this Pinot works very well with Sardines, Anchovies, and Cajun dishes. It also does a very good pairing job with Shrimp Scampi, especially if the recipe includes a little red pepper. The bouquet is like many other recent vintage California Pinot Noirs with earthy components, dried red cherries, a little cola and ginger.
If anything, this Pinot is yet another indication that the recent California vintages were good ones with a lot of extra Pinot Noir fruit continuing to arrive on the market to help keep a lid on prices. So, at least for now, you don’t have to shell out $30+ for a good Pinot.
Serve slightly chilled from the fridge after20 minutes (60-65 degrees). This is a good wine just to keep a bottle or two open on the table for guests to enjoy whenever they want throughout the evening.
Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at Examiner.com
View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.