Talking (and drinking) wine with the Bottle Bitches
What happens when a French snob, and English sommelier and a loudmouth American walk into a bar? In the case of the Bottle Bitches, they pop open a bottle of wine and get to chatting. This month they’re reviewing a white that will help you savour the last days of summer and ease you into autumn.
THE WINE: Picpoul de Pinet from France, 12.5% ABV
WHERE FROM: Fromage & French on Tunbridge Wells High Street for £11.50
DID YOU KNOW: Picpoul de Pinet is an appellation in The Languedoc region of France, located inland from the ﬁshing port of Mèze. You will ﬁnd the grape variety Picpoul (or Piquepoul as the French say) in white, black and grey varieties, although you’ll probably ﬁnd the whites on UK shelves. Picpoul de Pinet tends to be classically delicate and fresh with crisp acidity, sometimes with a green hue and notes of honeysuckle, lemon and stone fruit. It’s a perfect wine for summer sipping (and savouring summer) and if you’re a fan of Chablis, Vinho Verde, Pinot Blanc and Muscadet, you’ll love this!
PARTY FACT: Picpoul Blanc is one of the oldest white wine varietals from the south of France and, depending on where it’s grown, may actually be known as something else. For instance, in the Loire Valley, it goes by the name of Folle Blanche. A loose translation of Picpoul is ‘sting the lips’ and you may notice this sensation when sipping due to its high acidity.
BONUS FACT: Picpoul and Clairette Blanche grapes are the primary varietals used to manufacture Noilly Prat, the well-known Languedoc vermouth.
PAIR THIS WITH: Picpoul is a wonderful pairing wine for Mediterranean dishes, especially shellﬁsh and seafood. Whip up a traditional salt cod or a beautiful lentil salad (like we did) and spend the last of the summer months sipping on this delight.
Caro – French Snob
My tastebuds are singing the Macarena with this – but in a classy way! A zingy lime-infused liquid gold with a slight ﬁzz and lingering tingle. An absolute summer classic, j’adore!
Angela – English Somm
My ﬁrst words were, “this smells beautiful!” Peachy with a hint of ﬂ oral blossom and the slight spritzy note you get in the air when you cut fresh cucumber. It’s slightly oily on the palate, giving it a bit more character then typical delicate wines of this style and it has just the right amount of acidity, making it perfect for food. The parsley in our lentil salad really lifted the herbaceous note! An extremely pleasant wine for summer sipping.
Kate – Loud American
This wine is like a beautiful summer breeze and smells of laundry hanging on the line and peach pie cooling on the window sill. It’s crisp and white, clean and bright and its light acidity ﬁnishes with a delicious oiliness that leaves a lingering taste of zippy lime juice. I personally feel that this wine would be especially good with a big plate of nachos and a heaping spoonful of guac. More, please!
WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GLASS?
A glass? We’ll take another bottle, thanks!