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Pinot Meunier

Pinot Meunier is a black grape whose name comes from the French word for “miller” due to the floury white down that grows on the underside of the leaves. Pinot Meunier is the third grape used in making of Champagne, along with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, although it is rarely written on any labels. Its role in a Champagne is important, however, as Pinot Meunier provides acidity and aromatic character to many Champagnes. Because Pinot Meunier grapes are lower in tannins than Pinot Noir grapes, wines composed primarily of Pinot Meunier do not age as well and should be quaffed young. In other parts of the world, Pinot Meunier can be used to make still red wines that often are fruit-forward in flavor and light in tannin, akin to Pinot Noir.