Last week, a colleague at my day job started picking my brain about wine. She told me that she recently graduated to pinot noir after years of drinking nothing but Champagne and disgustingly-sweet riesling. OK, I embellished with the “disgustingly-sweet” part, but that’s basically what it sounded like she was drinking. And then she told me about her favorite pinot noir, which I can’t remember the name of but it sounded like something with a cute label and lots of residual sugar—not my cup of tea. But it was a good reminder to me of the perspective of the everyday wine consumer.
As someone who tastes different wines every day and travels the world tasting some of the best wines out there, I have a different perspective than the average wine consumer. But that’s not where I started. When I first started writing about wine I was wowed by fruit-bomb wines, loaded with residual sugar, that tasted good despite being unsophisticated and out of balance. I can still understand the appeal of those wines, and occasionally I’ll still drink them. But I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve become a wine snob. I often hear wine bloggers say that they’re “taking the snobbery out of wine.” Bullshit! If you critique wine, you’re a snob. Those of us who wax poetic about wine are all wine snobs and we’re all quite ridiculous to make such a fuss about wine.
But most wine consumers aren’t that fussy about their wine. They want something that tastes good to them. They often want to become “more knowledgeable” about wine, but ultimately if a wine tastes good to them it’s good enough.
Getting back to my colleague, she wants to broaden her palate and explore new wines. So she challenged me to find a new pinot noir for her that will be balanced, complex, interesting, tasty and affordable. (Again, I embellished a little bit, she just asked to find her “another pinot noir”).
This wine is my first stab at meeting this challenge. It will be a touch lighter than what she’s used to, but it still has plenty of fruit and some spicy aromatics to make it interesting.
Sometimes when I pour a pinot noir it looks far too dense, but this one is just right with a light red appearance. The nose is well balanced and beautiful offering strawberry, raspberry, nutmeg, cedar and violet aromatics. There’s a lot going on here, but it’s harmoniously balanced. The palate is also quite nice, although a touch more concentration and density would have made it better—and I do mean just a touch. But the flavors are all good, such as cherry, raspberry and cranberry. There is a hint of bitterness on the finish, which I could do without. Good acidity, good mouthfeel. Overall, it’s a good, medium-bodied wine that’s best with food.
Wine: Kim Crawford
Variety: Pinot Noir
Find Kim Crawford Marlborough Pinot Noir with Snooth
Disclosure: This wine was received as a media sample.