I spend every Christmas Eve in Toronto at my brother’s house where my sister in law Allison cooks up a fine Prime Rib from Brunos a fabulous and not cheap Butcher shop. We tend to save our best wines for this sacred occasion. My offering this year was a pair of pricey Pinot Noirs.

Pinot Noir the major red grape from Burgundy has been coined “the Heartbreak Grape” due to its’ finicky nature and the difficulty winemakers all over the world have turning it into delicious wine.

So my candidates were:

1.An unfiltered Pinot Noir from Prince Edward County made by that emerging regions most celebrated wine maker Norman Hardie.

2.And an iconic Pinot from Santa Barbara California made by Hitching Post  Winery.

Norman Hardie’s Pinot (as judged by six knowledgeable tasters)

Was: thin, insipid and forgettable…..and it cost me $42…

Now that was heartbreaking. Big Fail

Hitching Post Pinot you may recognize or remember as the anti-dote to the protagonists’  “boring” Merlots in the movie Side Ways. At $35 it offered a good solid example of a rich fruit forward supple California version of the iconic grape variety. I would call that a moderate success.

I realized later that part of my lack of enthusiasm for both wines was due to the fact that a week before I attended an Open House chez Cyndi Grossman (Mellecey Wine Agency). Among the huge array of stellar wines she represents She poured about 10 Burgundies that were just stunning. 

A sip of Gevrey Chambertin from Domaine Drouhin Laroze and you’re done….

And your objectivity permanently ruined when tasting any other Pinot Noir for the rest of your life. (Thanks Cyndi)