Pinot Noirs don’t get the credit they deserve. While they are readily accessible for most drinkers, a lot of people overlook them these days because they’ve always just kind of been, well, there. But in my opinion, Pinot Noir might be one of the best reds out there. The Pinot Noir is usually a hyper drinkable wine— a lovely, translucent shade of ruby, light on the tongue and heavy on the fruit. They can be paired with any white meat or fish, should be drank at room temperature and when they’re done right, they don’t weigh you down. The Folly of the Beast Pinot Noir, brought to you by winemaker Ryan Zotovich, fits all of those descriptors with ease and grace.
When I got this wine in the mail from Winc, I knew it was going to be special. They sent it to me for National Pinot Noir Day, which happened to be August 18th, but I’m arguing that every day should be National Pinot Noir Day. Named after a quote from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, the label offers an old-fashioned illustration of a whale’s tail nestled in between the vintage (2016) which looks effortlessly fluid over the shape of the wine bottle. “For there is no folly of the beast of the earth that is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men,” the Melville quote says. I brought the bottle to a porch hangout and it’s safe to say it was exactly the wine we needed for the warm, breezy late August evening.
Folly of the Beast is a great wine to share with friends, but I’d imagine it’s a good wine to drink on your own as well after a long day at work. It’s easy to sip with a slightly sweet aftertaste, low on the tannins and extraordinarily fruit forward. I smelled dark berries, not quite as bitter as blackberries and nowhere near as tart as a raspberry. Winc says the wine offers notes of cherry, and though I couldn’t taste that specifically, I don’t doubt that a more refined palate could. The juicy tastes lingered for quite some time, a bright yet subtle reminder of the dark fruit just consumed. Other tasting notes listed by Winc include clove and oak, but I’ll be honest— I don’t think I tasted those.
At less than $20 per bottle, this is an affordable wine, especially for a decent Pinot Noir. It’s also a pure Pinot Noir, being made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes. Here, you know exactly what you’re drinking, and what you’re drinking is GOOD. Another perk— it’s vegan! As a new-ish vegan, I appreciate that Winc notates that so clearly. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether a product is vegan or not.