I bet you have seen "Sideways". You might even have said - in a loud, offensive way "I ain't drinkin' no fuckin' Merlot!" as a tribute to Miles. He also introduced me to the complexity - and the sheer difficulty - of producing a decent Pinot Noir. This is the grape used to make champagne. And also California style single grape variety red wine. Which the French used to regard as crazy (every great French wine is a blend) until they began to appreciate the value of the oenology from University of California, Davis. Not least of which was marketing.
This week, on our way back from the usual blow out sale at the Bay in Oakridge (no, really, I needed tennis shoes - and we had to to replace the inherited EPNS with some usable flatware) we stopped at the Farmers' Market in Kerrisdale. We needed some good bread for lunch. We also bought peaches and there was stall with wine from the Naramata Bench. Which sounds Australian. But isn't. One of the best things about a Farmers' Market is you get to talk with the producers. They are obviously not marketers, or salespeople. But they have an unmistakable enthusiasm for the stuff they grow or make. We were encouraged to taste the wines. Not a hard task to persuade us, I admit. They had a Tempranillo - which I associate with Spain. And I thought has been too long in the oak cask. But I liked the Pinot Noir, and my partner really liked the Chardonnay. Now this is unusual as we still have the rule of ABC - Anything But Chardonnay. There is simply too much of it. (This also used to apply to Cabernet but no longer.) And thanks to modern technology they take credit cards. We bought two bottles of Pinot Noir and two of Chardonnay. We had not brought shopping bags with us but still made it back to the car safely.
I must also here insert a plug for the Vinturi: every red wine benefits from decanting. The Vinturi is an honourable short cut. I would not normally pair Pinot Noir with pepper steak. I did this time, and it was wonderful. If you are lucky enough to find Three Sisters Pinot Noir 2013, get at least a couple of bottles. Trust me, you will enjoy them.