We were served Pineau des Charentes (produced by Domain La Prenellerie) as an aperitif several times while in France. It was simply divine. When I went in search of information about the wine, I found a very interesting and unique history.
Nobody knows exactly how Pineau des Charentes came to be. The legend is it was due to a happy accident. The story goes, that in 1589, it is believed that a winegrower mistakenly poured unfermented grape juice (must) into a barrel of Cognac.
A few years later, when he needed to use that particular barrel, he discovered he had made an excellent new drink. That was when “Pineau des Charentes” was born. In the four centuries that followed, winegrowers who have made and are making Pineau des Charentes have maintained a very high standard for this unique and amazing product.
For a long time, Pineau des Charentes was kept a secret. Bottles of this unique wine were hidden, only to be used for important occasions.
This fantastic fortified wine is now known, around the world and is France’s most famous sweet, fortified wine.
It is a very hard wine to describe. It is a combination of wine and Cognac as the history indicates. I would liken it to a port, but that simply would not do it justice. It has a very pleasing nutty flavor, much lighter than a tawny port wine.
You can find this wine on amazon.com, wine.com and at any good wine purveyor. It is worth the effort to locate this delight. If you find this wine, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Time for a glass…
If you enjoyed “Pineau des Charentes,” check out the other “Sightseeing In France” articles: Week 1, Week 2, A French Wedding, Flowers in France and the Pineau des Chartentes. They are full of pictures of the many places we visited. It will give you a feel of France and all that we experienced.
P.S.: Check out a few of my favorite wine tools and resources below. 🙂