Meiomi Pinot Noir Review - A Great, Easy Drinking Red Wine from CaliforniaThis Meiomi Pinot Noir review is part of our value wine series. A series of wine reviews aimed at finding and exposing the best tasting wines that won’t break the bank. Meiomi is one of our favorites!

Meiomi Pinot Noir is the Best Introductory Red Wine for White Wine Drinkers

Red wine, for the most part, is an acquired taste. Almost everyone I’ve ever asked about their first experience trying red wine has told me that they didn’t like it initially. If you’re not one of these people, please share your experience with me in the comments. For many of us, our first experience with wine began with a white varietal. Drinking red wine more consistently begins as a subtle transition. Today, I want to share a wine with you has made that transition easier for thousands of people. That would be the Meiomi Pinot Noir, and here’s why it’s the best introductory red wine for white wine drinkers.

Related: Check out our detailed guide to the Pinot Noir grape variety

Meiomi Pinot Noir Review & Tasting Notes | Picture of the Meiomi Pinot Noir Bottle  Our Meiomi Pinot Noir Review

Firstly, the Meiomi Pinot is an extremely well balanced wine. While vintage plays a role in every wines’ flavor differential, the Meiomi Pinot Noir is surprisingly consistent year after year. (Note: There are certainly differences to the experienced wine-taster, but to a new red wine drinker they will be hard to detect). That’s because this Pinot is crafted from 3 different vineyards that are located on top of some of the finest Terroir along the California coast.

Pinot Noir is a fairly difficult grape to cultivate, given that it demands a cooler climate to thrive and ripen correctly. With its relatively thin skins, this grape variety is easily susceptible to various forms of rot. Luckily for us, Meiomi Wines utilizes the knowledge and skill of consulting wine maker Joe Wagner. Joe comes from a distinguished Napa Valley wine making family, and is founder of the famous Napa Valley wine making operation, Caymus Vineyards.

For the Meiomi Pinot Noir, not one, but three different appellations are leveraged in order to craft the wine, and each brings something special to the final product.

25% of the Pinot Noir grapes that make up the Meiomi come from Sonoma County, which is a slightly cooler appellation given it being the most Northerly positioned. Here, the soil makeup is partially volcanic, which means it’s not necessarily the most rich in nutrients. The vines have to work harder to survive here, which ultimately helps generate more concentrated grapes. Sonoma offers up some of the more traditional ripe red fruit notes and low viscosity so famous in New World Pinot’s.

48% of the grapes are sourced from Monterey County. The terroir and climate here is conducive to producing grapes that are richer in body while also bringing more earthy tones and textures to the blend. Fog throughout this appellation aid in keeping the vines cool during the heat of the day. This is likely the reason why the Meiomi Pinot is more medium-bodied and rich than some of its competitors from similar appellations.

Lastly, the final 25% comes from Santa Barbera county, which from its rocky terrain and coastal cool breezes brings added spice notes, vanilla cream cola and additional bright red fruit notes to the blend.

According to Meiomi…

“Each of the vineyards chosen for Meiomi wines offers the best expression of its appellation. Through careful blending, we achieve balance, complexity, and richness with unique aromas, flavors, and textures.”

Checkout this really awesome, hilarious and fun video with Meiomi’s Joe Wagner discussing the nice fluffy soil that aids in producing the Meiomi Pinot Noir.

Meticulous craft work goes into the Meiomi Pinot Noir, and its caught the attention of many who have since made it their go-to house wine.That’s likely because its aroma emits bursts of red and black fruit before it touches your palate. The color of the wine shows this clearly if you hold it up to the light. It has girth and a beautiful mixture of red, blue and black hues.

Meiomi Pinot Noir Tasting Notes

Traditionally, most Pinots have a lighter texture and viscosity to them. The Meiomi Pinot Noir is a heavier-bodied wine across the board, filled with rich and savory fruit flavors. Expect every taste bud in your mouth (not just on your tongue) to savor the experience. On the opening palate, the youth of this Pinot noir is masked by rich blackberry, plum, raspberry and subtle hints of pomegranate. Mid-palate, refined tannins stay evident and tickle your taste buds with a subtle astringency, while notes of vanilla and dried violet grow the wines’ velvety feel. On the finish, the wine stays deep and fruity with a long close. You’ll likely detect hints of vanilla and oak on the aftertaste.

The Meiomi Pinot Noir is unique in that it breaks free from many of the classical aspects most wine experts associate with Pinot Noirs. It’s a rich, floral and fruit forward wine that has a velvety sweetness to it with little to no minerality — which makes it a comfortable start for new red wine drinkers to enjoy. It might just become your go-to!

Related: What is “Minerality?” New study shows it may not originate from where we thought

Meiomi Pinot Noir Food Pairing with a Swordfish Balsamic Glaze Kabob Recipe

Heavier bodied fish dishes, like these Balsamic Glazed Swordfish Kabobs, make for a perfect food pairing alongside the Meiomi Pinot Noir.

 Meiomi Pinot Noir Food Pairing Ideas

The body, flavor and depth of this wine make it a versatile food pairing option. Given the balance, and its tendency to appear rich and savory on the palate, consider similarly flavored dishes. Barbecue pulled-pork, or Cuban-style roasted pork are two of my favorite food pairings for this wine, especially the 2014 vintage.

Heavier-bodied fish will also work well with this Pinot. My first choice? Grilled Swordfish basked in a Balsamic Glaze. These Swordfish kabobs make for a perfect appetizer to go along with this wine.

If pizza is more your thing, checkout Meiomi’s own recipe for Grilled Sausage and Honey Pizza.

 Where to Buy the Meiomi Pinot Noir

I’ve found Meiomi’s Pinot for as low as $15 before, but rarely above $20 – at least for the last 4 vintages. A fair price point for a wine that won’t disappoint. It’s available at most major grocery and liquor stores and you can also have it delivered within the next 2 hours. Use code WINEDERLUST5 at checkout for 5% off.

Meiomi Pinot Noir Review & Tasting NotesNotable Vintages: 2010, 2013, 2014

Tell us about your first experience with either the Meiomi Pinot or your first red wine in the comments!

Our Score


  • Hi Greig, Our Winemaking Team sends a big Thank You. We appreciate your support of our Meiomi Pinot Noir, and we’re always happy to hear from our amazing fans. Cheers!

  • I was not one of those people. The first glass of red wine I had was Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon that had been opened the night before and stored. I was visiting my boyfriend and arrived to his house before he got home from work and saw the bottle on the counter. I decided to pour myself a glass while I was waiting for him. I never had tried red wine before but I knew (at the time) that I did not like white wine, so how could I possibly like red wine given the most common progression of red wine appreciators? Well, I had a my first sip and a vibrant sensation hit the entirety of my body. I have not turned back since that day (4+ years ago) and to be honest, I’m trying to develop my palate for white wines. A little backwards, huh?? 🙂

    • Hi Becca,

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience! I was really hoping to hear from more people with a different perspective! That’s fantastic. To this day, I still feel the same way every time I take a sip of a fantastic red. There’s nothing else like it. No white wine has never moved me in the way a red has. But that’s what makes wine tasting such a cool practice, it’s really completely subjective. Over the years as I’ve been studying wine, my courses have essentially forced me to drink white as you obviously need to understand it to work and write in the industry, but reds will forever offer a more heartwarming and nostalgic feeling on the palate.


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