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I loved this fresh, crisp white wine, delicious with or without food, made from the Picpoul grape in the Languedoc region in southern France. It was perfect for a simple, weeknight meal. The Picpoul De Pinet region is near the coast and the cooling sea breezes help to retain the natural high acidity of the Picpoul grape despite very hot temperatures. When the weather is hot and sunny, I love to sip crisp, young white wine served very cold, in the sunshine. I love the reaction of the cold liquid with the wine glass at room temperature which is a seductive condensation trickling down the side of the glass making the wine even more enticing. In the glass the wine was crystal clear with an attractive green tinge. The nose, straight from the bottle was not very pleasant but after a few moments of swirling it in the glass to get much needed oxygen the nose was pleasing fresh lemons. The word Picpoul means lip stinger and this is what I was expecting with high acidity, but I was pleasantly surprised by the roundness and smoothness of the wine on the palate. It was fresh lemons, zingy and herbaceous. Dry yet rich with good length.  At 12.5% alcohol volume it was perfect as an aperitif, but I wondered if it might have enough acidity and body to cope with food. I paired Picpoul De Pinet 2017 with grilled salmon marinated in honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, splash of Worchester sauce, fresh lemon juice, fresh ginger and Dijon mustard served with boiled new potatoes and mixed vegetables. The combination was a winner.

I purchased Picpoul De Pinet 2017 from Aldi. It cost £6.49 and is a stunner for the price. It’s hard to believe that good wine can be produced for such a low price when you consider that VAT and Excise duty amounts to approximately £5 on a wine of this price.

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