Wine Wednesday: The Prawn and the Picpoul!

Sitting in the garden with my glass of chilled white wine I was reminded of when we first discovered one of those unusual grape varieties, Picpoul de Pinet in 1987, on holiday in the Camargue region of France. Being seafood lovers we spent some of our time at Bouzigues where the whole Etang de Thau seemed completely full of racks growing the rope-suspended mussels and oysters. We had seafood platters in a quayside restaurant with a house white wine {served in an uncracked jug (!)} I discovered to be Picpoul. I’d never heard of it, but there is no doubt that today it’s fame and popularity preclude it from being served as a standard cheap house white, though I never see it written about in wine tasting articles.

Oz Clark, Grapes & Wines
“Picpoul or Piquepoul is found in the Languedoc region, usually in its white form, though there is also a Picpoul Noir and a Picpoul Gris. All are old grape varieties. Picpoul Noir is aromatic and reaches high levels of potential alcohol, but is pale in colour and doesn’t age. It is usually only found in blends. Picpoul Blanc is noted for its high acidity (piquepoul means ‘lipstinger’) and lemony fruit, and any grape with high acidity can be an asset in the hot Languedoc climate. It used to be widely grown for vermouth. It is becoming quite popular and is particularly useful for blending, but can be delicious and lemony when in AC form as Picpoul de Pinet from around the village of Pinet near the Étang de Thau on the Mediterranean coast north of Agde. Quality of Picpoul de Pinet has greatly increased recently. Best producers: (France) la Grangette, Montagnac co-op, Pinet co-op, Gaujal, Genson, St-Martin de la Garrigue; (USA) Bonny Doon.” Do look out for them if you are wine tasting in France!

Wine tasting a Picpoul de Pinet

My example of Picpoul in the featured photo above was bought from The Wine Society, a cracker of a bargain at £7.50, still a family favourite, but we need to go to Bouzigues to get the quality seafood to go with it! And yes, I had put ice cubes in it …. but never if it’s with food!

The Wine Society
“Picpoul de Pinet is one of the best-value white grape varieties from the south of France. Full-flavoured, dry yet with crisp freshness and a beguiling citrus and herb flavour, it can be enjoyed on its own or with seafood.”

And finally, if you’d like a few recommendations of some of the best from several wine tasting sessions, then Decanter magazine wrote a nice review article of some of the best Picpoul wines available. Just click the link.

Categories: Languedoc, Reviews, Wine

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3 replies

  1. You’re such a bugger – ice in your wine? 😉 Cheers – it looks like it was appropriately hot in the garden to use ice. No shame in doing what a wine drinker has to do to keep the white wine chilled!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry Shelley, Dr C been in hospital again and I occupied my brain by redesigning my blog around wine. It’s not always real ice cubes though, you can buy glass that looks like ice or granite stones you keep in the freezer! It’s a good trick 👍👍👫


  2. Ice in wine? Only ever seen that in a Spritzer or a jug of Sangria!


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