–Pinot noir is always a popular choice for holiday parties and dinners because it is easy to pair with so many holiday dishes. Pinot noir’s traditional characters of medium-bodied fruit, lower alcohol, velvety mouthfeel, and bright acidity make it an excellent lighter red wine for an appetizer plate of charcuterie and cheeses or holiday meals. After tasting many local pinot noir wines, we made recommendations for you below. We suggest serving these wines slightly chilled at about 55°F.
Top local pinot noir wine recommendations
Cutruzzola 2018 Pinot Noir Giacomino Reserve – $59
On the nose, spicebox and prominent minerality. The palate is lush and rich with a fruit profile of cranberry and red and black cherry.
Cutruzzola 2021 Pinot Noir Gloria – $47
Spicy mineral and candied red cherries charm the nose. The depth of the wine is revealed as a sequence of building flavors and aromas. First, red cherry and mineral. Then candied red fruit and spice. Finally, deepening fruit and exotic spices with velvety tannins on the finish.
Cuatro Dias 2021 Pinot Noir – $55
On the nose are aromas of black cherry and leather. The palate has notes of boysenberry, cloves, and it’s bold with soft edges. Pairs well with game fowl.
Derby Wine Estates 2021 Pinot Noir – $36
This wine is ruby-red colored with aromas of ripe red fruit, orange zest, fresh mint, and black pepper that gives a full mouthfeel and supple acidity.
Sculpterra 2021 Pinot Noir – $40
This pinot has ripe tastes and rich texture, with a heightened fruity characteristic. Flavors of berry pie, herbal tea, and bittersweet chocolate. The color is a shade darker than a California coastal pinot noir. It finished with nice dimension and well-rounded aftertaste. It is a great value in this category.
Seven Angels Cellars 2019 Pinot Noir – $42
A delightful Burgundy made of grapes from Wolff Vineyard in Edna Valley. It has a medium ruby color. It offers aromas and flavors of cherry, strawberry, baking spices, and a hint of smoke. It won a gold medal at the 2022 Central Coast Wine Competition.
Stephen Ross 2019 Pinot Noir – $40
Brilliant ruby red color. Aromas of cherry, dried rose petals with notes of nutmeg from the French oak barrel. Bright mouth, fine tannins, lively acidity and flavors of small red berries, early grey tea, anise, and forest floor. It earned 93 points from Wine Enthusiast. It was one of our favorites.
Windward Vineyard 2021 Monopole Pinot Noir – $54
This pinot has earth tones and dried cherry aromas yielding to rich fruit on the first sip.The wine moves over the mid-sensory buds slowly building its tannins. The french oak from a year in Seguin Moreau barrels makes its phenols evident in the peacock tail finish.
Windward Vineyard 2020 Monopole Pinot Noir – $54
This wine, with aromas of violet and ripe berry fruit on entrance, stands out as an outstanding vintage; drinking beautifully on release with a propensity to age and gather layered complexity with sustained balance of fruit, acidity, and long phenolic finish.
Windward Vineyard 2019 Monopole Pinot Noir – $54
This wine’s hue is brilliant with a slight cast of violet. Both nose and wild berry fruit palate are consistent on entry of the “Noble Fruit” sliding gently into a velvety river that flows into the peacock tail finish. Only 1120 cases produced.
More local wine recommendations
- Best local sparkling wines
- Best local rosé wines
- Best local white wines
- Best local pinot noir
- Best local zinfandel wines
- Best Spanish-style wines
- Best local Rhone-style red wines and red blends
- Best cabernet, Bordeaux-style, and red wines
- Best local dessert wines
Publisher’s note: For the 10th year in a row we thought it would be fun to recommend local wines for the holidays. Once again, we received an amazing amount of participation from our local wineries. Over the last two weeks, we received more than 150 entries. Fortunately, there were many solid, well-made wines to recommend. We have created several lists of top local wines into categories. The recommended wines above are in alphabetical order.