Pinot and Pork a perfect match?

Pinot Noir is a variety that everyone seems to love. They can be the ideal wines to
introduce new wine drinkers to dry, red wine. While Pinot Noir in its truest and most famous
expression comes from Burgundy, France, you can find delicious Pinot Noir from many wine
regions around the world.

Good Pinot Noir tends to have nice acidity to complement the bright red fruit flavors that it
offers. The variety also tends to thrive in cool regions were the berries can mature without
becoming overripe with a high concentration of sugar. Pinot Noir can be a challenging grape to
grow, making good Pinot for an affordable cost hard to find.

To pair with Pinot Noir, pork seems to be a perfect match. Pork tends to be flavorful from high
fat that would likely go well with the acidity present in Pinot Noir. For this tasting I stopped by
Mary Ellen’s on December 28th and Pine lake and grabbed their baby back ribs. Their ribs are slow smoked
with a dry rub that offers a rich smoky flavor. The meat is both tender and firm, and VERY

For wine I started with Michael Pozzan Pinot Noir, 2020, Russian River Valley, CA, $20.00. The
Russian River Valley is well-known for the production of great Pinot Noir. Finding independent
producers that have mastered their craft is a sought-after commodity. The Michael Pozzan Pinot
Noir is ruby red in the glass with aromas of light red berries, strawberry, and red currant. It’s
light on the palate, delicate, and elegant with flavors of red raspberry, rhubarb, and a hint of
spice. The wine has a long, pleasant finish.
89 points

The next wine is Brandborg “Benchlands” Pinot Noir, 2018, Umqua Valley, Oregon, $20.00.
Brandborg winery is off the beaten path in Oregon but this family producer pays excruciating
attention to detail and they have a great vision for what wine can be in their region. Their
“Benchlands” Pinot Noir is ruby red and has pretty scents of sweet red fruit and vanilla. In the
mouth, the wine is delicate, with crushed strawberry, spice and a hint of ripe cherry.
88 points

The last wine I tried is Sur de Los Andes Pinot Noir Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina, 2020, $20.00.
Argentina is an interesting wine region more famous for Malbec than Pinot Noir, but this wine is
an interesting version of Pinot Noir. The wine is garnet in the glass and is very subtle on the
nose with dark fruit, damp forest and a hint of wood. The wine is brisk with tart red fruit,
cranberry and a bit of toasty vanilla all surrounded by light tannins.
87 points

Paired with Mary Ellen’s baby back ribs I found all of these wines to be a little bit light, as the
powerful smoky flavor of the ribs overpowered these delicate Pinot Noirs. I will choose a heavier
wine next time. The Pinots while not a perfect pairing, were still tasty and got better and better as
the meal went on.

The world of Pinot Noir is a fun wine journey. The fact that it is grown in so many great wine
regions and has become so popular with wine lovers is a testament to the variety. Pinot Noir is a
variety that deserves thorough exploration.

Mark McDonald and his wife Kim own The Italian Vine, a Lincoln-based wine distributorship.
They lived in Italy for several years and studied and developed a passion for wine that inspired
them to open their own enterprise. All of these wines can be made available in Lincoln. Email

The Italian Vine


5612 South  49th Street

Lincoln, Nebraska 68516