If you prefer to drink red wine with whatever you’re eating, pinot noir is often a good choice. Wines made from pinot noir are usually light- to medium-bodied, and some go well with certain kinds of fish, chicken and veal as well as red meats. The problem is that good pinot noir is difficult to produce and can be pricey. However, there are some fine ones available for less than $15, and the following are two exceptional examples.
Foris Vineyards Winery 2015 Pinot Noir, Rogue Valley, Ore.
Bought • Dierbergs, 8450 Eager Road, in September for $13.19
Description • It’s difficult to find pinot noir from Oregon for less than $15, so I was thrilled to find this one. Foris, which is located in the southernmost grape-growing region in Oregon, is a well-respected producer, and this wine received 90 points from Wine Enthusiast. Aged in oak for 10 months, this is a flavorful, medium-bodied pinot noir that tastes of bing cherries and plums with lots of spice. Well-balanced with good acidity, it would go well with salmon.
Rodney Strong Estate 2015 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, Calif.
Bought • Costco, 4200 Rusty Road, in September for $13.99
Description • This flavorful red comes from Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, which provides excellent growing conditions for the fickle pinot noir grape. Bigger in body and complexity than the Foris, the Rodney Strong has some of the gamey and mushroom flavor characteristics of some pinot noir grown in France’s Burgundy region. Aged in oak for 15 months, this smoky red tastes of cherries and cranberries with bakery spice and vanilla. It would go well with chicken and other white meat.