Soft, silky and luxurious, pinot noir’s sweet perfume and rapturous raspberry-cherry fruits make it the perfect lunchtime red for sipping in the sunshine.
Pinot noir is a Burgundy native but producers across the world have turned their hand to harvesting this seductive grape and California, Chile and New Zealand can all lay claim to delivering delicate, elegant styles from their cool climate regions.
On the downside, perfection comes at a price and when these wines are good, you do have to pay for the privilege.
The originals from Burgundy are designed to drink young – light, fruity and low in tannins - perfect with charcuterie and lighter foods – perfect for a posh picnic. Try La Barrique de Bourgogne 2013, France (£19.99, www.laithwaites.co.uk), or Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru 2011, France (£25, Majestic) for its pretty perfume of violets and ripe cherries.
New Zealand pinots are more aromatic and the fruit flavours can be more dense with a subtle, savoury note. Taste the Ned Pinot Noir 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand (£14.99, Majestic) for a more concentrated flavour.