A very popular varietal and rightly so. Pinot Noirs are usually light to medium bodied reds with good complexity, balance, and low to medium tannins. This makes it one of the most drinkable wines for wine noob's and enthusiasts alike.
Pinot Noir is nearly synonymous to the French growing region of Burgundy. If you are drinking a red (bonus points if you can name the White Burgundy varietal) Burgundy right now, you are drinking a Pinot Noir.
As with most wines, the Old World /New World profiles differs from each other, yet the Old World wine makers are moving to the more popular styles of the New World.
Here's what to expect in the flavor profiles:
New World Pinot Noir Flavor Profile: simple to medium complexity, fruit driven - raspberries, cherries, strawberries, light, violets, lilac, silky and supple tannins
Old World Pinot Noir Flavor Profile: complex, mushrooms, forest, earth, full bodied, incense, sandalwood, spice, moderate tannins
Pinot Noir was my favorite varietal for many years but, as you know, I have recently fallen for the Priorat. However, you can almost never go wrong with a good Pinot Noir. Food is not needed to complement it's flavor as it is an excellent stand alone wine. It is also a great wine for a group of friends who want to buy a bottle but can't decide between white or a red.