Red, red wine

It may be a bit early, however, for the big Syrahs and Cabernets; Pinot Noir is the perfect transitional red wine.

Pinot is making its way onto fall wine lists around town. Melanie Chesser, owner of Vin Dolce (16 S. Broadway) in Edmond, said she is adding two new glasses of Pinot to her impressive list.

Vin Dolce already features some excellent Pinot Noirs, including Stoller JV, Raptor Ridge Meredith Mitchell and Matello Lazarus.

Chesser will add Boekenoogen Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands and Soléna Cellars Grand Cuvée from Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

She recommended the Soléna as accompaniment to the brandied cherries with caramelized goat cheese. For the Boekenoogen, she suggested a pairing with the cranberry, walnut and smoked salmon salad.

Andy Dixon, the beverage director for West (6714 N. Western), has a delicious Burgundy on his bottle list. The 2009 Auxey-Duresses is what he calls his “go-to” Pinot Noir. He suggested pairing it with the salmon or grilled Caesar salad.

One of America’s premiere Pinot Noir makers, Ken Wright Cellars, is featured on the bottle list at Ranch Steakhouse (3000 W. Britton). Like many good Pinot Noirs, it pairs very well with Ranch’s remarkable steaks.

New to the metro are the Anne Amie Pinot Noirs from Oregon. The Cuvée A is an approachable, fruity red with enough acid and structure to make it a good dinner wine.

The Cuvée A is available at Coffee Creek Wine Shop (775 W. Covell, Edmond) and Broadway Wine Merchants (824 N. Broadway).

Jack Niven of Baileyana Firepeak Vineyard was one of the first to plant grapes in Edna Valley, Calif. His experience shows in his Pinot Noir, a well-balanced blend of red and black fruit. Find it at Sam’s Warehouse Liquor (2933 N.W. 63rd) and Broadway Wine Merchants.

Finally, how about a delicious, affordable, 100-percent Pinot Noir? A few years ago, winemakers snuck Syrah into Pinot Noir to keep the price down, but now you can get the real thing for under $20.

The Rickshaw line is from the guys who produce the stellar Banshee wines. A remarkable value, their Pinot Noir is well-balanced with red fruit, minerality and spice.

Find it by the glass at The Metro (6418 N. Western) or on the rack at Freeman Liquor Mart (4401 N. Western).

Greg Horton

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