International Pinot Noir Day is on 18th August.
Yes, it is A Thing.
Until relatively recently, Pinot was synonymous with Burgundy - with only one or two other contenders.
These days, Pinot seems to have followed Chardonnay around the world so, whilst the prices of top Burgundies rise ever higher, new entrants at the entry level to the market allow the Pinot-curious to see what all the fuss is about.
Pinot is famously thin-skinned and difficult to grow in anything but a cool climate; however, a riper, darker, spicier style of Pinot seems to have emerged that is decidedly un-Burgundian but better value for money and no less enjoyable.
The first of these Pinots - from New Zealand's Otago, the most southerly wine region in the world - is in the riper and darker style and is an easier quaffer; the Burgundy, from the reliable producer Louis Latour, is fresher and positively demands a food accompaniment.
Tesco Finest Central Otago Pinot Noir, (£13.00)
dark cherries, spice, florality and toasty oak; black cherry and elderberry fruit, toasty-oaky spice and savouriness with earthy-truffley sous bois, cocoa and cinnamon; fresh with a good backbone and fine well-integrated tannins
A versatile food wine; match with red meat, such as rib eye steak
Louis Latour Bourgogne Pinot Noir, (£15.00)
dried red fruits, raspberry leaf and spice; fresh strawberries, raspberries and cranberries, savoury earthiness, some liquorice and spice; rounded and gentle, very fine tannins.
A versatile food wine, match with beef stew, steak with garlic butter or any roast meat.