Cloud Break Pinot Noir (2011)

Cloud Break Pinot Noir

I’m not sure if I have mentioned this fun fact before, but Pinot Noir is my favorite selection of red when it comes to wine. (Yes, surprising isn’t it? Especially since this will be the very first Pinot Noir reviewed here on Play, Read…Eat!) This particular bottle caught my eye the first time that I was browsing a Total Wine store, located in Plantation, Florida. As I carefully scrutinized the bounty of choices before me, I narrowed my selection down to just a few bottles of vino, and a variety of craft beers to place in my shopping cart.

The Cloud Break Pinot Noir has a simple yet somewhat elegant label, which along with it’s price ($7.99) drew my interest. Its description boasts “elegant, strawberry, cherry, medium-bodied.”

Upon opening the bottle tonight with the intention of enjoying a glass while listening to my Integrative Nutrition lectures, I found myself to be disappointed from the moment I first inhaled its scent. It took a few breaths to really pick up on much of an aroma. Granted, I probably needed to let it mix with a little oxygen first. So I poured a generous amount into my wine glass and examined its color and body: bright, translucent red and seemingly very light-bodied. “Medium-bodied” in its description seems to be a bit too generous, as its appearance can certainly described as thin and watery. Holding the glass up to the light, I could see clearly through the liquid. At this point, my enthusiasm at cracking open a new bottle had thoroughly diminished.

The flavor is too dry for my taste, especially for a Pinot Noir. I detect hints of fruit but not enough to be enjoyable. Maybe there is a hint of tart cherries left on the palate afterwards, but the wine is simply too tannic for my taste. This one is a long ways from the much more flavorful and agreeable Angeline Pinot Noir, which I once enjoyed alongside a delicious dinner at a wonderful steakhouse in South Florida on my birthday.

Sadly, I’ll have to give the Cloud Break Pinot a measly 2.5 out of 10 stars. Overall, I can’t find anything too appealing about it besides its simplistic label. A wine with muted dress should blow you away with what’s inside. Unfortunately, that mission was a failure here.

From now on, I will have to stick with my tried-and-true favorites: the previously mentioned Angeline and the one that currently holds the top spot on my list, La Follette North Coast Pinot Noir. I first had a sample of this from It blew me away. It’s medium body, rich dark red color and boldly fruity taste pair perfectly with most foods and is also easily sippable all by itself. 

I’m sad to say that the rest of this Cloud Break will probably be going down the drain. Such a waste. But…you live and you learn right? Sampling is essential when it comes to wines because this is the only way to learn what you like and expand your tastes. Every experience is one to learn from.


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