Duck and County Pinot

A bowl of cold noodles is a thoroughly satisfying meal on hot afternoons or warm nights. The vinaigrette recipes are savoury, based on tahini, sesame oil, soy, and often with a salty kick, all mixed over udon, soba, or rice noodles. While an off-dry white or yamahai sake will pair beautifully, once you choose a protein, the door opens for reds as well. Soba Noodle Salad with Smoked Duck is a recipe I pulled from Food & Wine. Duck is classically paired with Pinot Noir, as long as there isn't a sweet sauce for the wine to contend with. The harmony between Duck and Pinot peaks when there are complementary flavours (say five-spice or, in this recipe, smoke).

Now living in Ontario, I'm exposed to many more Canadian Pinots in the light and delicate part of the spectrum—Pinots where acidity and elegance are emphasized. I love the smoky and spicy aromatics and minerality on the finish. When Pinot's traits shine through unadulterated, it's hard to find a grape more captivating.

Keint-He 2011 Portage Pinot Noir from Prince Edward County epitomizes this style. It is bright and zingy with raspberry and smoke characters, a soft texture and a minerally finish. It weighs in at 12.1% alcohol. I would happily drink this wine any time of the year, but it has even more allure in the summer thanks to refreshing acidity and lower alcohol. The lean, red meat and smoky flavours of the duck, with the savoury elements of the noodles all pairs up well.

Norman Hardie is a short drive away from Keint-He. His 2012 County Pinot, a similar style, is brilliant and among my favourites (also only 11.5% alcohol).

Check out these Pinots available on My Wine Canada for other duck partners:

TH Wines 2012 Pinot Noir, Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2011 Pinot Noir, Tantalus 2011 Pinot Noir, Thornhaven 2011 Pinot Noir.

Here is a full list of all the pinots on My Wine Canada.

Jake Skakun is a writer and sommelier from Vancouver, currently living in Toronto. He can be found most days pulling corks and twisting caps at the Black Hoof. He Tweets and Instagrams @jakeskakun.

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