Malbec vs Pinot Noir

There are so many types of wine out there that it can be quite confusing to choose one for your occasion. The best one is those that fit in your palate but sometimes many can be an alternative as well such as between Malbec Vs Pinot Noir. These are popular dry wines that are matching well with various dishes and before you shop for a bottle, it is wise to see what and how they will give the impression since the two are not exactly the same to each other as well.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Is Wine Good for Health
  • What are Malbec and Pinot Noir
  • How are the Price of Malbec and Pinot Noir
  • How are the Flavors of Malbec and Pinot Noir
  • What Malbec and Pinot Noir are Paired With
  • Malbec Vs Pinot Noir

Wine and the Benefits

Alcoholic beverages have been consumed for so long and while it is surely not the healthiest option you can get out there, especially when regular water is much cheaper and has no side effects unless drunk in an excessive amount, it is surprising to see some come forwards with additional benefits. Alcohols are not the thing we often put together with better health yet this also seems what makes wine so fascinating to know more. Among the oldest alcoholic beverages, a bottle cost can vary widely.

Wine is unique and different from many other alcohols such as vodka like Absolut which are probably one of the most widely available alcoholic beverages in the world. The benefits is what makes this bottle of red liquor a bit reassuring and somehow more fun to purchase because we are aiming for more than just their taste. However, do note that not all studies have the same result so we highly advise to take everything with a grain of salt and drink responsibly. 

The star that makes wine so interesting is their antioxidant which we usually talk about in supplement or fruit and veggies. Antioxidant rich foods now include wine as one of them and as you may already be aware, this is the compound that prevents cellular damage which is caused by inflammation and oxidative stress. The latter is a condition resulting from imbalance between antioxidant and unstable molecules known as free radicals that can damage your cells. Since grapes are rich in polyphenols, it is also shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.

This is however, applies to red wine for most of the time since red grape varieties are containing more antioxidant than their white variant. For those who want to know the difference between the two, do give our Red Wine Vs White Wine a quick read. A study with 40 adults consuming 400 mL of red wine during a 2 week period shown to increase antioxidant status which is linked to decrease risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson.

Another reason why they are so beneficial is due to the anti-inflammatory properties and we all know that there are so many health risks related to chronic inflammation such as heart diseases, cancers, and autoimmune disorders. Studies suggest resveratrol in wine has anti-inflammatory properties as well and may benefit health such as one study with 4,461 adults who consume wide in moderate amounts linked to reduced inflammatory response. In addition, one study with 2,900 women who consumed a glass of wine daily showed reduced inflammatory markers compared to those who are not.

About Malbec and Pinot Noir

While the consumption of wine has been linked to various health benefits, it doesn’t mean we can drink them excessively since the bad effects will weigh more than its benefit when you don’t control the portion. Rather than focusing on drinking wine for the benefit, it is probably wiser to pay attention to the overall diet when improving health while the wine is just accompanying your occasion or favorite dishes. Wine is known to pair well with lots of menus and your favorite may match best with some.

When choosing wine, it is wise to consider your own taste and what type of food will be paired or consumed together since the compatible combination can deliver a great experience as well. For those who prefer dry wine or not very fond of the sweetness on this beverage, dry variants such as Malbec and Pinot Noir are two ideal choices to consider. If you prefer an even dryer choice then Cabernet Sauvignon or Tempranillo will be more promising.

A great wine started from the grape and Malbec comes from SudOuest in France. The grape has thick skin and is a result of crossing Pruneyard and Magdeleine. It is a popular blending wine in the making of Bordeaux but since it has low resistance to fungi and pests, the variant never makes it to the top grape. It gained fame when brought to Mendoza, Argentina by French botanist in hope to improve the wine quality and it was successful that makes it the most important grape in the region now.

Pinot Noir that translates to Pine and Black represents the fruit in the real world. It can grow anywhere around the world but they do prefer the cooler climates one so you can find them almost anywhere and thus, very popular. One of the many charms of Pinot Noir is it can be used to make Champagne and sparkling white wine such as those English Sparkling wines and Italian Franciacorta. It is, however, difficult to transform into wine because the tight packed clusters often makes it susceptible to viticultural hazards.

Malbec and Pinot Noir Price

Since both of them are grown outside of France as well, it is getting easier to afford a good bottle of wine and they may grow not far from you too. Since Malbec is very well-known in Argentina, we often use their level of qualities that also meant the price point. For example we can find $12 to $20 options which are all good for introductory or for casual diner. Those above $20 are often made from selected grapes or even aged in oak to introduce more flavors.

On the other hand Pinot Noir is still mostly made in France so you can expect to spend more for a good bottle of this wine. But, the second largest manufacturer is the USA and we always have good choices in almost any price range here. For example the 2018 Fowles from Australia that cost less than $20 or the 2018 J.Lohr Monterey County Falcon’s Perch which is about the same. The older high-quality wines such as 2017 Sierra Mar can cost almost $60 or the slightly more affordable 2017 Old Vine Single Vineyard at around $46.

Malbec and Pinot Noir Flavors

Now for the most important part, let’s see what you can expect from Malbec and Pinot Noir from your freshly bought bottle. While we already know that both are dry wine means most of the sugar in the liquid has been fermented to alcohol, leaving the wine with a less sweet taste than many others. The two actually have different body and alcohol content on average with Malbec commonly having more complex flavors than typical Pinot Noir. As for the alcohol content, they can vary from 11 to 13.5 ABV.

When it comes to flavor characters, the two are very pleasing with a fruity opening such as red plum and blackberry from Malbec or cherry and raspberry from Pinot Noir. Darker fruits tend to give a deeper impression on the mouth and other flavors you can find in Malbec are typically vanilla and sweet tobacco with a nutty cocoa finish. On the other hand Pinot noir has an earthy mushroom flavor with clove and hibiscus notes.

Malbec and Pinot Noir Food Pairings

With the high acidity and typically bright flavors with low tannins, Pinot Noir is probably more versatile when it comes to food pairing as you can enjoy them with almost any meats including the fatty ones such as duck, salmon or tuna. You can pair a glass of Pinot Noir with lamb, chargrilled steak or venison as well. What to note is fruitier variants will suit salmon or tuna and fatty fish better while those with more tannins are ideal match for duck and other game birds.

Malbec is more suitable with foods that also have a strong accent so richer dishes are best for this wine. For appetizers you can enjoy Manchego, aged Cheddar, or blue cheese with the full bodied Malbec. The main course will be great for pasta with rich and savory flavors such as those in meaty and thick sauce like spaghetti Bolognese and baked ziti with sausages. 

Malbec vs Pinot Noir

Both Malbec and Pinot Noir are great red wines that are versatile and enjoyable on various occasions. The Malbec is probably more affordable side by side than finding good Pinot Noir at the same price range. Pinot Noir can be either fruity or has a stronger flavor as well but the low tannin and high acidity makes it a great pair for light meals as well including those fatty fishes. Malbec on the other hand matches savory dishes with prominent seasonings.

MalbecPinot Noir
- Mostly from Argentina- Mostly from France 
- Can be more affordable- Often more expensive
- Full bodied- Light bodied
- Medium-high tannins- Low tannin
- Great for savory dishes and lean meats- Great for fatty meats


There are no bad options since both are delicious and you should choose based on which of them will taste better or fit with your favorite dishes the most. Personally we like a full bodied wine so we will recommend the Malbec which is thankfully also often cheaper but, if your palate says otherwise, Pinot Noir is just as tasty.