Pinot Noir is renowned for being an expensive wine. Do a test and check the average price for a good bottle of Pinot Noir in your local liquor store and you will find that the average bottle costs over 40$. But it’s pricey for a reason; this cépage is native to the region of Burgundy, France and it can be a bit tricky to grow. Remember the supply and demand rule? This wine is it! It’s super popular because of its incredible versatility and taste but it’s mostly small wineries that successfully produce it (because it demands so much attention and care) hence a surge in price. Luckily I did my research and you will find at the bottom of this post three well-rated Pinot Noirs that cost under 30$! It’s a good start if you’re not too familiar with this wine.
And what better way to celebrate a beautiful wine than to pair it with my personal favourite: pizza! Who says you have to cook something fancy to enjoy a good glass of wine? Let’s break those barriers and stop worrying so much about rules…The fact is they taste great together and that’s all that matters.
For one large pizza
For the dough
- 2 1/2 cups of white flour
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1 tsp of brown sugar
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp of Fleischmann’s pizza yeast
For the white sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp of butter
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp of flour
- 1 cup of milk
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup of grated Emmental cheese
For the toppings
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 6-8 mushrooms, cut into fourths
- 1 cup of chopped cauliflower ( I used yellow for contrast)
- 1/2 cup of chopped leeks
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- A handful of basil, chopped
- 1 cup of grated Emmental cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
- A drizzle of olive oil
Start by preparing the dough. In a stand up mixer, combine flour and salt. In a separate bowl, combine water, brown sugar, olive oil and yeast. Let sit for about 5 minutes or until it becomes frothy. Then on low speed (with a hook attachment), slowly incorporate the wet ingredients to the flour. The dough will slowly form; stop the mixer when the dough appears smooth and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl anymore. Cover and let rise at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Cut up all your veggies and throw in a bowl. Drizzle some olive oil, season with salt and pepper then lay evenly on baking sheet. Throw in the oven for 10 minutes at 475°F. Once they’re done, take out and set aside. We cook them a bit because they won’t have the time to fully cook if we put them raw on the pizza.
To make the sauce, heat a saucepan on medium-low heat. Melt butter with garlic and let cook for a couple of minutes. Add flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix with a whisk. Gradually add milk, bring up to a boil then lower heat. Let cook until sauce thickens. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Heat the oven to 500°F. On a clean surface, dust flour and start flattening dough. Don’t forget to also flour your hands. You can use a rolling pin if it’s easier for you but it should be stretchy enough to do it with your hands. Once the dough is formed into a large circle, lay on a hot pizza stone or round baking sheet. Spread an even layer of the sauce on top, then the veggies, finish with the cheese and a nice drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Sprinkle fresh basil on top before serving.
WHY IT WORKS?
This wine actually has subtle notes of berries, smoke, mushrooms and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg which go hand-in-hand with the flavours of this dish. Its earthy tones also go great with fresh herbs and root vegetables.
Also did you know how to recognize a Pinot Noir? Best indicator: its colour! It’s much paler than most red wines. It’s due to the grapes which have a thin dark skin but a very green flesh.
I decided to stick with new age cooler climate Pinot Noirs because they are lighter, earthier and not as fruity as warmer climate ones. Cool climate = Canada, most of France, Germany, Oregon, Chile… Warm climate = California, Spain, Portugal, Australia, Argentina, South Africa…
Jean Perrier Cuvée Gastronomie Pinot Noir 2016, France (15,60$)
Nicolas Potel Pinot Noir Vieilles Vignes 2015, France (22,55$)
Quails’ Gate Pinot Noir 2015, Canada (29,10$)