Recently, I watched a regular maniac bust a young kid's Kings with deuce-trey soooted, flopping trips and turning a boat. The kid storms away in disgust, fuming, “That’s just a dirt hand! All you play is dirt!”
Although wine should never taste like dirt, many good pinot noirs have a certain earthy quality, hinting of mushrooms in the background. One of my favorites is the Argyle Pinot Noir 2007, from Willamette Valley, Oregon (a leading pinot noir region). It has tasty red cherry and cranberry flavors, a hint of cinnamon, and vibrant acidity to let it pair well with most lighter meat dishes and heavier pastas. It would be perfect with a chicken and mushroom dish. But, like many pinots, it is delicate enough to enjoy alone as a sipping wine.