Salmon Creek Pinot Noir 2008 Wine Review

Salmon Creek Pinot NoirI don’t get this wine, I really don’t. A kabob place I go to regularly serves it up. We go there about every two weeks for a family dinner. They have coupons that never expire, and when you hand one over, they just give you a brand new one. You figure it out. My step-father loves wine, but he’s got the unfortunate habit of ordering the cheapest bottle of whatever color he wants when at a restaurant. If I’m headed up to wine country he’ll ask us to pick up a case of something good to pay us back. It’s hilarious, but in a way makes sense.

This is how I stumbled upon the Salmon Creek Pinot Noir. It costs $15 at the restaurant which, taking the markup into account, makes it about an extremely affordable Pinot. Now this is what I don’t understand: It’s good. Really good.


Light, transparent purple with some garnet around the edges.


Strong strawberry juice and white gummi bears. Whatever flavor those were supposed to be. Pineapple? The nose is slightly worrisome, however, once you realize that that’s it. No other structural elements or backbone scents.


Ok, so now the structure appears. A fruit forward wine nonetheless, there is a brief shot of chocolate and some dirt flavors. I can’t say that the wine has a textbook construction, but everything is there when you need it. Nothing over the top. The strawberry makes way to a tart cranberry juice and we’ve moved away from white gummi bears to pink Sweet Tarts. The caramelly finish makes you realize that you’ve just sipped cheap wine, but it is far from a deterrent, especially at this price.

With Food

I’ve only had this at the kabob place, where I usually order lamb or a gyros plate, so i’d stick with that. Red meats that are spiced. It works well and doesn’t beat the food to death. It can hold up to the spices in their Greek salad as well. Let’s put it this way: it says something when a cheap red wine can fight a good battle against Kalamata olives.

Where to Buy

$6.99 at!

8 Responses to “Salmon Creek Pinot Noir 2008 Wine Review”

  1. Ha! I live in Saratoga Springs, NY. I am a regular at the Saratoga Wine Exchange (the link you provided above) and have passed this Pinot over many times because I just couldn’t imagine that it could be good. I finally impulse grabbed it today and am just downright impressed. I almost went through the roof when you said pineapple gummies because that was one of the first things I thought of when I tasted this wine.

    Great post, great blog.


  2. Wine Welfare Says:
    September 2, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for reading and commenting! Love it when someone agrees with something wacky I notice in a wine. It is certainly on the super-cheap side of things, but I was surprised at it, too. I checked out your site, corks and caftans, and I like it a lot. You guys have some great images and I really like the rating. Consider me a reader.

    Hope to hear from you again, soon!


  3. tried this wine for the first time at happy hour LoL, and liked it alot i will certainly buy again. your post was hilarious loved it more than the wine 🙂

  4. Wine Welfare Says:
    October 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks for commenting! I usually classify wines like Salmon Creek as “cheap and cheerful,” but Salmon Creek took it to the extreme. We both know it tasted good, but I don’t know how they can sell it at that price. I’m worried about what might be in it. LOL.

    Thanks for reading!


  5. My wife and I discovered this delightful wine quite by accident while visiting our vacation home near Waynesville, in the mountains of Western North Carolina. We have a favorite restaurant there and alway order a bottle of the Salmon Creek Pinot Noir. Without fail, our guests are always impressed and leave with the impression that we really spent a lot of money on the wine. I wonder how long we can keep the secret!

  6. I buy this wine by the glass at a little pizza parlor in Rancho Murieta called Go4Pizza… I absolutely love it, but I can’t find it in any of the stores, not even BevMo… The closest “big” town near us is Folsom, CA… can you tell me where I can buy or order the Salmon Creek Pinot Noir?

  7. P.S. It is not available at

  8. Wine Welfare Says:
    August 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Hi Marcia,

    Looks like there are 2 places you can find this wine online from stores in California. One in Los Angeles and the other in San Jose:

    San Jose –
    Los Angeles –

    Or, if you’re willing to order from out of state, check out this list of other online stores nationwide that have it in stock:

    Hope that helps!

    Thanks for reading!

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