Pinot envy

Ah, pinot noir, that cruel seductress. Small wonder it has prompted so many words of wistfulness and wisdom:

Voltaire• “I serve your Beaune to my friends, but your Volnay I keep for myself.”  — Voltaire (left)

•  “Pinot noir is the ultimate wine to have at the table. It’s a white wine masquerading as red…[while] chardonnay is a red masquerading as a white.” — Kevin Zraly, wine educator

•  “Pinot is very fragile; it needs space on the dinner table; mix it with other wines and they will knock it to pieces.  The Burgundians even taste chardonnay after pinot so as not to overwhelm it.” — Peter Finlayson, Hamilton Russell Vineyards

• “Pinot noir is like opera: when it is great, it is pure seduction, hedonistic, but like opera, unless it is very good, it is difficult to enjoy.  You have to understand it to truly appreciate it.” — Finlayson

• “To treat a poor wretch with a bottle of Burgundy, and fill his snuffbox, is like giving a pair of laced ruffles to a man that has never a shirt on his back. — Thomas Brown, “Laconics” (1701)

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