Pinot Meunier Day Date in the current year: December 16, 2024

Pinot Meunier Day Pinot Meunier Day, also known as International Pinot Meunier Day, Meunier Day or International Meunier Day, is celebrated annually on December 16. It was created to honor the most overlooked grape variety used in the production of Champagne.

Sparkling wines are produced in many wine regions around the globe, but only some of them have the right to be called Champagne. Being produced in the Champagne region of France is the most important requirement, but not the only one.

Champagnes can be produced only from permitted grape varieties, of which there are seven. The three most widely used grapes are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier; the other four – Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris – are used more rarely. Pinot Meunier is sometimes referred to as the unsung hero of the dominant grape varieties permitted for use in Champagne because Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are much better known internationally.

Pinot Meunier, also known as Schwarzriesling (“black Riesling”) in Germany, is a red wine grape variety used in the production of Champagne and red varietal wines. The word “meunier” in its name means miller; the grape was named so because the underside of its leaves looks like it’s been dusted with flour.

Pinot Meunier is one of the most widely planted grape varieties in France; it accounts for more than one-third of all the grapes planted in the Champagne region. Despite this, it is much less known to the average wine drinker than other widely planted grape varieties.

Even though Meunier is one of the three main grapes used in Champagne, producers haven’t really acknowledged it until recently, emphasizing the use of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. A notable exception is Krug Champagne, a famous Champagne house that utilizes all three major grape varieties in its Champagnes and does not shy away from its use of Meunier.

The addition of Pinot Meunier makes sparkling wines richer and more full-bodied, as well as adds fruity flavors to the wine. This grape variety is also used to produce varietal red and rosé wines. Pinot Meunier wines resemble Pinot Noir as far as alcohol and sugar levels are concerned, but they are lighter colored and have slightly higher acid levels.

Pinot Meunier reds have light to medium body, low tannins, and medium-high acidity. They are typically fruity, with primary flavors of pomegranate, raspberry, tart cherry and strawberry, and subtle hints of mineral, mushrooms, potting soil, rose, and spice. Pinot Meunier pairs well with grilled vegetables, mushroom, pork, roast duck, cured meats, grilled tuna steaks, and soft cheeses with white mold.

On December 16, celebrate Pinot Meunier Day by drinking a glass of Champagne or varietal red wine made from the Pinot Meunier grape. Other ways to celebrate the holiday include reading more about Pinot Meunier and the history of Champagne, attending a wine tasting or a food and wine pairing class, splurging on an expensive bottle of Champagne, and spreading the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #MeunierDay.

Remind me with Google Calendar


International Observances


Pinot Meunier Day, international observances, wine-related holidays, Meunier Day, Pinot Meunier