When the temp consitently reads over 100 F, as it did here in Chicago last week, and I’m spending time outside, I drink cheap white wine. Europe is loaded with wonderfully inexpensive yet delightful dry white wines and here is one you should know.
Grape: Picpoul (can be both white and red- like Grenache only here the White is the more common- I’m talking about the white)
Area (AOC): Picpoul De Pinet
Here is a rare French Wine where the grape and the place are titeled almost the same. The main region is the Languedoc, the AOC Picpoul De Pinet is on the east side of the Languedoc near the town of Montpellier. I’ve had a few Picpouls and generally I characterize the good versions as having a zippy acidity, minerality with an aroma of tropical fruit. Like most Mediteranian whites- seafood/shellfish are a natural pairing but this wine is easy to work with food wise.
Here are 2 suggestions if you’re intersted in trying a Picpoul. Buy whatever vintage is freshest- should be 2010 or 2011:
Cave de Pomerols- I’ve tried this many times and its great. This version has more minerality and structure than others I’ve tried. Sometimes these wines can fall flat on the pallete where you get a little zip of acidity and it disappears as soon as it came. This one holds up.
La Chapelle de la Bastide- This wine had a lovely aroma of melon. The wine was very pleasant on the palatte but suffered from the disappearing acidity I mentioned before. Again, not for a serious sit down tasting but for $7-$8 a bottle… you can’t go wrong.