WINE O’CLOCK: A nice, light white from the home of red
The Languedoc region of France has been producing wine since Adam and Eve decided apples were too risky and tried growing grapes instead. But it is only in relatively recent years that its wines have become easily available in Ireland.
We are most familiar with its reds, many of which come with the word Languedoc prominently displayed on the label. But the region produces some very nice white wine as well and one of the best is Picpoul de Pinet.
It is the south of France’s answer to northern Muscadet and has a similar lemony zing, a little more mellow perhaps, and with a light floral scent.
It is reasonably priced. You’ll pay round a tenner for a nice bottle of Picpoul in most of the supermarkets.
For instance: Les Courtelles Picpoul de Pinet, €11 from Dunnes; Tesco’s Finest Picpoul de Pinet (€9) and Aldi’s Exquisite Collection Picpoul de Pinet a bargain at €8.99.
If you pay a little extra you will get wines with a bit more complexity.
Domaine de la Madone Picpoul de Pinet (€12.95 La Touche Wines, Greystones) has a floral aroma and a citrus tang.
Domaine de Montredon Picpoul (€13.99 Worldwide Wines, Waterford) has that same combination of floral aroma with the clean, crisp tang of apple and pear.
French producers seem to have got over their horror of screw tops. They are very suitable for Picpoul, helping to retain its tangy freshness – although I generally find a bottle doesn’t last long enough for that to be a problem.
I blame it on evaporation.