Rethinking Pinot


Maya has a job working for one of her High School English teachers, at an annual event called ‘Pinot Days’. Most of the job is online, ticketing and calling clients and so on, and that goes on for a couple of months. Then, when the date of the actual event comes, she goes in to the City and helps set up, works with vendors, works with customers, etc. Ted and I benefit, in that she gets us free tickets. Pinot Days is a wine event, where local wineries bring their Pinot Noir (and sometimes Pinot Gris or Blush wines), and trades people can walk around and taste, as well as the general public. So if you own a wine store, and you want to taste some different Pinots, this is the day for you. There are a LOT of wineries there. If you tasted all of them, you would be drunk. We saw some drunk people. Ted spits out most of what he tastes, to avoid getting drunk. I can’t bear to do that, so I just have a small taste and pour the rest out.

Generally I am not a fan of Pinot Noir, too often what others call ‘earthy’, I call ‘dirty’. Meaning, too often, Pinot Noir tastes like dirt to me.

Today, however, we tasted wine from perhaps 6 or 7 wineries (you lose your palate after a certain point, so there’s no point in continuing to taste unless you want to get drunk, which we did not), and I really liked maybe 4 of them. I kinda liked the rest. There weren’t any that I thought were dirty tasting. That’s big for me. I don’t know if my palate is changing, or if we just got lucky and tasted all good wines. For the ones that we asked about, the price was between $50 and $60 a bottle. Perhaps that’s why it tasted good. I NEVER spend that much on wine, so maybe cheaper Pinot tastes like dirt.

The picture above is the dome at the Westfield Mall in San Francisco. After we finished tasting wine, we went outside for the event to finish, so Maya could leave with us, and the area where we were waiting is near the dome. It’s very pretty, and I don’t think we really paid any attention to that mall when we lived in SF all those years ago. Back then it was a department store, Emporium Capwell, which (in my mind at least) is a step below Macy’s, and a step up from Mervyn’s or Kohls. Since there is a beautiful 4 story Nordstrom right next door, and a beautiful 7 story Macy’s a couple of blocks away, there was rarely a reason to go to Emporium. Emporium left quite a few years ago, and now there is a Bloomingdales, as well as quite a few mall stores. It’s nice. We had a nice Saturday, which ended up with us going to the hotel where I worked the entire 7 years we lived in SF for dinner. The lobby and restaurant areas have completely changed since my time. I don’t like the decor as much as I liked it before, but it is still very nice.

This entry was posted in Musings.

6 thoughts on “Rethinking Pinot

  1. I like Pinot Noir, but I also like beets, both of which I’ve been told taste like dirt. I’ve never had a $50 bottle of wine, but now I wonder if I did, would I like the classy Pinot Noir as much as the cheaper stuff? 😉

  2. I like an earthy, mineral-y Pinot Noir. The Ontario pinots are the ones that hit that spot for me. Cali pinots, not so much; Oregon pinots, Willamette Valley specifically, can sometimes do it when they aren’t real peppery.

    That’s one of the joys of wine, isn’t it? That it is so personal and subjective.

    • I agree, I like that wine can be so subjective, and what one person loves, another does not. Interesting sometimes. I had a bottle of ice wine from Canada, a red dessert wine. It was in my fridge for maybe a year and a half, and I finally tried it. It was delicious! I thought of you and your trips to Canada for wine.

  3. After all the high profile wineries who were there, it’s kind of amusing (well, to me) that the wines I liked the best were from J Lohr. Of course, these were the $50 wines, but still. The Duckhorn “Migration” Pinot was very good, too.

    • I wish I remembered which ones I liked best, though if they were a bit over $50, it’s not like I would buy them, so it’s better to like the less expensive ones.

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