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This post is dedicated to the ladies…
It’s Sunday afternoon. A cool day….kids are outside and the hubs is watching football. If you’re anything like me, you’re watching football too, but you have to make sure dinner is ready a few hours after the game. How to handle? Put on a pot of homemade marinara with homemade meatballs earlier in the day, let it simmer up to dinnertime. Boil pasta and VOILA! Dinner is done and all that’s left for you to do is open the wine. Well, once again, if you’re anything like me…you’ve already opened it during the football game, you’ve been sipping on it all day because no one else in the house drinks wine and you’re lucky to have “a glass” left to pair with dinner! Wine of choice for these types of days….Pinot Noir. It’s a household name. 🙂

My Pinot Noir of choice on this Spaghetti and Meatball filled football day was Don & Son’s Sonoma Coast 2010 Pinot Noir. Now, not ANY kind of Pinot Noir will hold up to pairing with marinara sauce….so keep two rules of thumb at hand: 1) California Pinot Noirs do tend to be more fruit driven and a little bigger than say New Zealand or Oregon Pinot Noir. When pairing reds with marinara you want a bit more fruit and less acidity. Since tomatoes are acidic by nature, that is why a California Pinot Noir will usually pair well. 2) Keep in mind that even a California Pinot Noir is still lighter in texture and flavors than say a Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon so keep your sauce recipe on the “lighter” side as well. (not too heavy on garlic and no hot pepper flakes) Keeping these two rules of thumb at hand, you will truly be able to fully enjoy Don & Son’s Sonoma Coast 2010 Pinot Noir with your next marinara meal too! It was one of the most successful wine and food pairings I have had.

Don & Son’s Sonoma Coast 2010 Pinot Noir is a beautiful example of good California Pinot! A real value and easily found via their website http://marketplace.donandsons.com/product/2010-Don—Sons-Sonoma-Coast-Pinot-Noir and in some retail wine stores. With a price of $19.00 per bottle and two Gold Metal Awards from the 2012 San Francisco Wine Competition, trust me, you will want more than one bottle on hand! Don & Son’s 2010 PN is a stunning mahogany, cherry red. The nose is full of bing cherries and cedar with very slight hints of vanilla. The taste on this Pinot Noir in a word is “juicy”. A real winner! Big cherries up front, bold red fruit, but a bit more delicate than most California PN’s I’ve tried. Extremely smooth tannins and a very long finish. Again, the acidity is there and on the lower side than other Pinot styles; but certainly enough to make this wine VERY food friendly. The Don & Son’s Sonoma Coast 2010 Pinot Noir earns a FOUR BOTTLE Rating, for sure. I truly wish I had another bottle on hand!

Depending on the weather in your neck of the woods, next Sunday break out a family recipe of Spaghetti and Meatballs, let your husband watch football all day with his beer and make sure you have a minimum of two bottles of Don & Son’s Sonoma Coast 2010 Pinot Noir on hand. It’s really worth buying and oh, so good with football!


** Sample courtesy of Don & Son’s **