Best local pinot noir wines for the holidays
Pinot noir is always a popular choice for holiday parties and dinners because it is easy to pair with so many holiday dishes. Pinot noir’s traditional characters of medium-bodied fruit, lower alcohol, velvety mouthfeel, and bright acidity make it an excellent lighter red wine for holiday meals. After tasting more than a dozen local pinot noir wines we made some recommendations below. We suggest serving these wines slightly chilled at about 55°F.
Top local pinot noir wines
Biddle Ranch 2012 Pinot Noir – $34
A classic, light pinto with grapefruit overtones. It’s earned two well-deserved silver medals in recent competitions and will pair well with most holiday meals.
Clavo 2012 Pinto Noir – $35
This Righetti Vineyard pinot delivers bright red fruits, marked acidity and a silky texture. This bold pinot will pair well with turkey and red meats for the holidays.
Derby Wine Estates 2011 Pinot Noir – $36
This is a classically styled pinot noir with fruit from the Derbyshire Vineyard near San Simeon. It has aromas of sour cherries and light flavors of strawberry compote. It will pair well with turkey and other holiday fowl.
Destination West 2013 Pinot Noir – $28
This is a delicious and robust pinot from the folks at Jack Creek Cellars on the westside of Paso Robles. It has plum and cherry cola flavors with pleasant acidity and tannins. A year in French oak give it a perfect finish.
J Lohr 2012 Fog’s Reach Pinot Noir – $35
This is a luscious pinot noir from the Arroyo Seco area of Monterey County. The cooler climates lend to superior pinot noirs. It has a deep red color with flavors of strawberry and fennel.
LaZarre 2012 Pinot Noir – $36
Winemaker Adam LaZarre hit another home run with this big, bold unfiltered pinot. It has flavors of lush cherry with a hint of cedar. It will pair well with salmon, fowl, pork and especially lamb.
Additional wine recommendations
- Best local sparkling wines for the holidays
- Best local rosé wines for the holidays
- Best local white wines for the holidays
- Best local Rhone-style white wines for the holidays
- Best local pinot noir wines for the holidays
- Best local zinfandel wine for the holiday
- Best local cabernet sauvignon wines for the holidays
- Best Rhone-style red wines for the holidays
- Best dessert wines for the holidays
Publisher’s note: For the second year in a row we thought it would be a great idea to recommend local wines for upcoming holiday parties and dinners. Once again, I had no idea how much participation we would receive from our local wineries. Over the last few weeks we received more than 100 entries. I was originally planning a list of 10 or so of the best wines, but after tasting and tasting and tasting, there were just too many solid, well-made wines to recommend. So we decided to break up the list of top local wines into categories. The recommended wines are in alphabetical order.
Check out our Wine Tasting Map of Paso Robles.