The following are two classic dishes that pair well with pinot noir and the specific style I prefer with them. (Side note–I’ll be drinking pinot noir with Thanksgiving turkey. Willamette Valley pinot to be precise.)
Coq au Vin, “rooster in wine,” is a traditional peasant dish of Burgundy—vegetables, mushrooms and random chicken cuts are braised with red wine and herbs. Naturally, since Burgundy is the motherland of pinot noir, pinot is paired with this dish. I prefer a rustic style that is earthy and seductive. The more dirt I taste the better. Volnay is a good commune to look for in the Côte de Beaune of Burgundy.
Duck à l’Orange, “duck and orange” is a French dish popularized in the 1960’s most likely by the influences of Julia Child, Pekin ducks raised on Long Island, (the white Aflac kind) and the emergence of haute cuisine in Manhattan—the legendary restaurants Lutèce and Four Seasons to be precise.
The orange sauce, Sauce Bigarade, in Duck à l’Orange usually has an addition of sugar. Naturally pinot noir is the perfect match for it—its acidity cuts through the rich sweet and sour sauce.
I prefer a powerful style of pinot with good fruit and muscle. Pommard from Domaine Parent in Burgundy or a Santa Barbara County pinot noir with grapes sourced from the Bien Nacido Vineyard stylistically work quite well. Some producers I enjoy from Santa Barbara are Foxen and Au Bon Climat.