What’s in My Glass? Pinot Noir

“What’s in my Glass” is probably an unfair title for this post, because was would be the accurate way to describe the interaction between the glass, this wine, and me. That should be a solid indication of the quality I found with Elizabeth Chambers Winemakers Cuvee 2011 Pinot Noir.


Brick red in color, this juice reeked of tart red cherries, and crisp red apples. Hints of vanilla and toast snuck in there too, and on the palate all the fruit shone with a hint of forest-y earth.  Not bad, I thought as I sipped it and stared a a vase of flowers,  wishing away the rain that’s been drenching NYC all week.

Since 1965, cool climate grape varieties have been thriving in this tiny section of Oregon that’s surrounded by mountain ranges on three sides.  The cool, sunny climate gives grapes a long, slow growing season which allows them to ripen fully, but not overly.  The moderate sugar levels in the finished grapes is what gives Oregon Pinot Noir more earthy complexity than the fruitier versions that come out of warmer regions.

“A Cross between the Cote d’Or and California” is how the Court of Master Sommeliers describes Pinot Noir from Oregon’s chilly Willamette Valley. Like  the starving New Yorker I am, I don’t drink much wine from Burgundy’s famed Cote d’Or, but if I was Willamette Pinot Noir, I’d be happy for that comparison.


Oregon Pinot Noir Uncorked:

Laura Loves: Klee Pinot Noir, where strawberry flavors dominate as opposed to the cherry tones in Elizabeth Chambers Pinot Noir.

Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch.


Fake Wine Tattoos like this one, which is currently gracing my bicep.

Fun Facts: The Willamette Valley is the most populated region of Oregon.

Willamette rhymes with “Dammit.”

In addition to wine, Willamette produces most of the grass seed in the United States.

Perfect Pairing: Ramschnitzel! Veal, cream, and mushrooms?!? This veal dish is delicious on its own, and the bright acid in Pinot Noir helps prevent the cream saucy from feeling too heavy. Plus mushrooms and Pinot Noir are always a good match.


  • March 31, 2014
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