At first, I called this post ‘The Best Pinot Noir to Drink on the Cheap” before I decided to change it to “Six Delicious Pinot Noirs to Drink on the Cheap.”
Then I realized that calling these the best pinot noir wines implies that well, that I’ve tried all the pinot noir wines and I’m not nearly that talented nor is my wine tolerance nearly that high.
Even so, these wines are delicious and because this time of year should be affectionately referred to as “just bring a bottle of wine” season, I thought it would be helpful to run down a few of the pinot noir wines that are available at the four places within a half-mile radius of my house that sell wine.
Chloe Pinot Noir
Like: the chic black and white bottle, the wild strawberry, plum, and cherry flavor notes.
Dislike: it has the same name as a Kardashian.
I went to a fun event sponsored by Chloe Wines this summer and liked pretty much every one of their wines – the Prosecco is especially perfect for parties — but we’re talking about Pinot Noir today. It’s $14.99.
Cupcake Vineyards Pinot Noir
Maybe the most frustrating wine of all the wines, Cupcake Pinot Noir is so hard to find in Chicago! It’s available at one of the grocery store chains popular here, but that store is not within a half-mile radius of my house.
The ones that are available close to home only stock the Cupcake Chardonnay (no) and a really gross red blend that even Brad’s best friend, who they refer to as a “drink garbage can’ didn’t want to drink it.
Nonetheless, the Pinot is my favorite wine under $10 and we stock up on it when we bring the car to the grocery store.
Warning: this wine will not have a long shelf life if you entertain frequently and that’s all I have to say about that.
Dark Horse Pinot Noir
This is the official wine of ‘going to a party and want to bring something cheap, but very palatable.’
It’s a great second bottle when you have the girls over, but you’ve finished the $20 wine you splurged on, and it’s also a good wine to give to your drunker friend, who is less discerning than you are, but still has some scruples when it comes to wine night. I’m not hating on it, but I am extremely picky and even though it’s a good go-to, it’s not my #1.
Which is a good thing because you can only have so many favorite wines because adulting is hard.
Block Nine Pinot Noir
Block Nine Pinot Noir has been my favorite red wine since before I even liked to drink red wine. It’s light, smooth, and fruit forward without being sweet.
When my friend Sarah and I used to have virtual watch parties for Revenge, it was always a good companion for a night of Emily Thorne and Nolan Ross.
Great BYOB wine and as red wines go, it pairs with pretty much anything — even sushi, which is a cardinal sin in some circles.
Underwood Pinot Noir
Ah, Frank and Claire Underwood. No, I’m pretty sure that isn’t the namesake for this Oregon pinot, but however it received its name, it works for me.
It’s smooth, jammy and has lots of yummy berry flavor that you can also enjoy in the summertime, in a can. Yes, you can get wine in a can and sometimes I really like that we live in this world.
For around $14 a bottle, this one is a super steal.
The Seeker Pinot Noir
Hailing from France, this sub-$15 Pinot Noir from the Puy-de-Dôme and Méditerranée regions are super similar to Burgundy wines.
This pinot will stand up to your rich, savory holiday meals and is great for sipping in front of the fireplace like a cliche.
This is where I should admit that we don’t actually have a fireplace.
Six Degrees Pinot Noir
I’ll be honest with you, I discovered this wine at a cute wine shop that let me bring Henry in with me, and I haven’t bought it since the owner of the store informed me that they do not in fact allow dogs.
Nonetheless, the winemaker calls this wine a “complex blend of flavors [that] inundates the senses. Raspberry and strawberry fruit combine with nuances of vanilla, toffee, and cedar to initialize the experience, while mellow tannins guide the wine towards a gratifying finale.”
It’s also super versatile to pair: sip it alongside a hearty stew, chicken or turkey pot pie, beef bourguignon or grilled lamb chops.
Sign. Me. Up.