It has recently come to my attention that wine lovers around the world are claiming the 16th of December every year as Pinot Meunier Day – and I am all for it. I love this red grape from the still and sparkling single varietal versions to its contribution into some of the yummiest still and sparkling blends.
However Pinot Menuier is a rather overlooked grape variety. Its claim to fame is being one of the main 3 grapes used to make Champagne, alongside Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
This blog post is all about celebrating Meunier and its fabulous contribution to the wine world. Grab a glass, or better yet a bottle, and let’s learn more about this red wine grape…
What is Pinot Meunier?
Pinot Meunier is a red wine grape which is part of the Pinot family. It is a ‘clonal mutation’ of which means it shares the same DNA as the more commonly known Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and other Pinot derivatives.
The word Meunier is French for “miller”, and refers here to the “floury” appearance of the underside of the vines’ leaves.wine-searcher.com
You may also see Pinot Meunier referred to by the following names:
- Gris Meunier
- Noirin Enfarine
- Dusty Miller
- Miller’s Burgundy
What does Pinot Meunier taste like?
It produces a fruity wine full of red fruits like cherry, raspberry and pomegranate alongside some savoury flavours/aromas such as mushrooms, roses and earthiness.
It has a medium-high acidity being a cool-climate grape variety.
It’s a lighter style red wine, that brings bright fruit and aromatics to a blend.
How do you pronounce Pinot Meunier?
Like many grape varieties and for those who failed French in school, like me, they are not the easiest to pronounce. Hopefully this will help you with Pinot Meunier:
What is the difference between Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier?
Pinot Noir and Meunier are different grape varieties. Yes they are related, however they deserve different attention in the vineyard and they produce a completely different wine.
Being siblings they do have some similarities however each have their own signature aromas and flavours + contributions to a blend.
Unlike Pinot Noir, Meunier can be grown in colder climates and it also ripens earlier than its famous sibling.
Therefore it produces a light and higher acidity wine than Pinot Noir. Plus of course it is quite rare to find Meunier as a single variety, however there are some out there and I actually really enjoy this variety as a single variety wine, both still and sparkling.
Pinot Meunier in Australia
Did you know, Best’s Great Western here in Victoria have the oldest Pinot Meunier vines in the world?? They also have an absolutely fantastic article on their beloved Pinot Meunier grape variety which I would highly recommend reading.
Most of the Meunier grown in Australia will be added to sparkling wine or into a blend like this little delightful blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Meunier I tried from Logan Wines in Orange.
Pinot Meunier in Champagne
And of course here in Australia we can of course buy plenty of Champagne which has Meunier in the blend from your typical local suppliers such as Dan Murphys alongside exclusive champagne suppliers like one of my favourites, Emperor Champagne.
What have been your experiences with Pinot Meunier? Have you tried one we should all know about? Leave a comment below and share the Meunier love!