Looking for the perfect Pinot Noir food pairing? Before running to the store, consider one very important thing: the birthplace of your Pinot Noir!

If your bottle is from Oregon

The predominant flavors are going to be cranberries with overt earthy characteristics like black tea, fresh forest floor, and baking spices.

And you’re planning hors d’oeuvre…

Buttermilk Fried Quail – Oh yes, the savory-ness of the fried game meat will pair perfectly with the earthy and acid forward structure of Oregon Pinot Noir. We love this recipe from Chef Dominic Orsini if you need a little inspiration.

Pro-tip: instead of smothering the quail in the gravy, place gravy in a boat on your appetizer platter so that your guests can drizzle as much or as little as desired on their plates.

And you’re planning dinner…

Cedar Planked Salmon – Though some might say that fish is daring pairing for red wine, in actuality, salmon has enough fat to hold up to lighter and mid-bodied Pinot Noir with earthy profiles. Our pick is to use a rub like this recipe. The brown sugar and rosemary resins caramelize into an umami bomb that will make your mouth water and beg for another glass of your favorite Oregon Pinot.

If your bottle is from Burgundy

With a taste profile that is one step further than Oregon’s earthy with hints of tart fruit, Red Burgundy is all about that spice and earthiness with more subtle oak notes than California’s fruit and vanilla bombs.

And you’re planning hors d’oeuvres…

Mushroom Arancini – That’s the Italian word for fried risotto balls. The recipe from My Impossibly Tiny Kitchen lays it out step by step for you. We highly recommend popping a bottle of red Burgundy while you cook too. Happy cook, happy food!

And you’re planning dinner…

Roast Duck with Orange and Ginger – It’s all about those game meats and poultry when it comes to red Burgundy. The smoky flavors with refreshing citrus zest pair so well with the French Pinot Noir’s subtle beauty.

If your bottle is from California

Fruit Bomb alert! We love Pinot Noir from California for its luscious fruit. Depending on where in California your Pinot Noir is from, it can act big and bold like an old-world cabernet (we’re referring to you Russian River) or more subtle and understated like we find in Santa Barbara and Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. What they all share is a bouquet of fruit-forward and vanilla notes rushing over your palate.

The extensive oak aging that California Pinot Noirs are known to go through allow these wines to pair perfectly with slightly smoky meats and cheeses of all sorts.

You’re planning hors d’oeuvres…

Smoked Brisket Empanadas – Smokey, savory, and tender. Brisket empanadas have just enough body to pair with the fruit-forward flavors of Pinot Noir from California. Vindulge has an incredible recipe that utilizes all the brisket leftovers from last night’s BBQ.

You’re planning dinner…

Pork Chops and Mushrooms in Cream Sauce – It’s so bad but it’s so good! Pretend you’re at Napa’s beloved Mustards Grill by cooking up a pork chop and pairing it with a beautiful California Pinot Noir. The full-bodied Pinots from Northern California’s regions like Russian River and Carneros have enough acid to cut beautifully through the creamy mushroom sauce that blankets the pork chop. Take a look at this recipe from one of Northern California’s brands William Sonoma for a little dinner time inspiration.

If you’re looking for the perfect Pinot Noir to impress your guests or loved one, shop the Benchmark cellar and winery selection. If you’re just running to the store, be sure to select a highly-rated wine for your event.

Established in 2002, Benchmark Wine Group is the leading source of fine and rare wine retailers, restaurants and collectors around the world. Based in Napa Valley, we acquire the most sought-after wines from private individuals and professional contacts, but only when provenance can be verified by our team of acquisition professionals. Our staff draws on decades of industry experience and is dedicated to providing exceptional service to all of our clients. Benchmarkwine.com offers 24-hour access to our cellar, displaying inventory in real-time.