The best Willamette pinot noir is the perfect pour for an astonishing array of foods. This is the secret strength of pinot noir pairings. It might be the red wine that you can use most flexibly in creating pairings that are thrilling and unexpected. Start with the tried and true so you really develop an idea of how pinot noir brings out certain qualities in unique ways.
Oregon pinot noir is straightforward, so the first key is to avoid overthinking your pairings.They all have a higher acidity. This means meats with a degree of fat goes very well with it. Think something like duck and other game birds, where the taste of the fat lingers to interact with the acidity of the wine. In fact, pinot noir pairs very well with most meat. For a truly memorable pairing, try it with elk. One of pinot noir's most exceptional qualities rests in how it brings out not just taste but also textural qualities of the food with which it's paired. With any meat, pairing it with a sauce that incorporates pinot noir helps bring the flavors closer together. Have your eye out for clever ways to bring pinot noir into your sauces.
Many fruits, vegetables, and nuts work incredibly well as pinot noir pairings. Think of hazelnuts and roasted root vegetables: beets, yams, artichoke. You can also try this in the form of soup. Most squash soups go exceedingly well with a pinot noir pairing, especially when they retain some of their natural sweetness. Once you get a feel for it, try it with a squash soup that has both sweetness and spice. The pinot noir can accentuate each flavor for a rare mouthfeel.
One great part of Oregon is the amount of fresh fish available. Fish is normally reserved to pair with white wines, but the best Willamette pinot noir has a lightness that can complement salmon and other fatty fishes. Some recipes will dry out the salmon more than others. Pinot noir should be used with recipes that let the salmon retain its oiliness. The fun of pinot noir pairings is learning the taste well enough that you develop your own, unique pairings. Once you try some of these suggestions, be brave and adjust recipes to incorporate pinot noir as a pairing in inventive ways!