Money can’t buy happiness. But it can buy pinot noir, which is better.
True, even an average pinot noir costs more than your average plonk ($10 for a starter bottle). But the uplift, the transport, the transcendental improvement in your outlook is worth it. Thus did we not complain upon investing $10.99 in this 2016 Parker Station pinot noir (John Edwards, on sale … was $14).
Sourced from California Central Coast vineyards, Parker Station burbles into the glass garnet bright, a delightful characteristic of medium-bodied reds. It’s light and delicate to the taste, but is by no means shy and retiring. It is possible to be both delicate and sensuous (think Natalie Portman). And intense. The flavor is a choir of cherry, strawberry, spice and oak.
One’s sense of adventure being what it is, we ventured farther down Main Street to Rooster Brother to explore the pinot noir selections. We observed the Leese-Fitch PN is still on sale for $9.95 — a sensational bargain for a similarly medium-bodied, delicious PN. As we had already had, and enjoyed, the Leese-Fitch experience, we picked up a 2015 Love Noir pinot noir ($10.95) from Livermore, Calif. We were initially disconcerted by its marketing tag line, “Fall in love with the darker side of wine,” as darkness is pretty much what one does not expect with this particular variety. But we bought it anyway out of curiosity but also because we admired the spunk of a company that dared call its wine “Love.” For only last month a Massachusetts granola maker who lists “love” among his product’s ingredients got busted by the FDA for “mislabeling ingredients.”
Admittedly, pinot noirs can be unpredictable. But when the Love Noir poured out burgundy purple our misgivings grew. The taste is quite good … if you are in the mood for a dry cabernet sauvignon or a merlot with a touch of espresso. But our mood was other. They may very well put love into their bottle but we would have preferred pinot noir.
The Beatles were wrong when they sang “Money can’t buy you love.” Actually, it can. But it would be better spent on the Leese-Fitch.