If grape varieties were able to practice martial arts (I know I’m pushing it but I do have a point), Cabernet Sauvignon would go for the uber-mainstream but powerful Karate; Syrah might practice something intense and with a good kick like Taekwondo, perhaps Zinfandel’s smooth strength would find a rhythmic outlet in Capoeira, and Pinot Noir… Pinot Noir would be seen in the park, standing still in a graceful pose of Tai Chi.
The quiet and seemingly soft discipline would suit a grape known for its low tannins as they’re both sometimes mistaken for weak but when done right, they’re incredibly effective. Also, both are savvy choices for those seeking to get the most health benefits as compared to other grapes Pinot Noir has significantly higher amounts of Resveratrol, a substance that just like the ancient Chinese internal martial art, has been linked to longevity.
Insight Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 will show its agility and concentration, perhaps not at a Tai Chi lesson but surely in a glass. It comes from a winery known for its pioneer approach to single vineyard production in New Zealand: Insight Vineyard, located in the Waihopai Valley, within Marlborough, where founder and winemaker Fleur McCree creates sustainably produced wines.
Bright and light carmine, it offers aromas of crisp pomegranate. On the palate, summer cherries and cranberries are added to the mix. Toasted hazelnuts are a delicate souvenir from the wine’s 11 month stay in French oak. A subtle touch of violets rewards those who give it a bit of time and tame tannins take the back seat while the wine’s acidity makes your mouth water just as if you were enjoying fresh strawberries.
It’s 14% ABV is not immediately noticeable as a fruity and delicate character makes the wine feel very fresh.
It’s a delicate one that should be paired with equally gentle dishes. Looking for recipes outside the box? Try it with a caramelised onion and sweet potato rye tart, crispy carrot tacos or steam-roasted salmon with blood oranges. Meat lovers can resort to lamb, as long as the seasoning is not too harsh.
Insight Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 is available at O’Briens Wine for €20.95
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.