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When you’ve finished reading today’s issue, open a bottle, pour a glass, and read Jeanette Winterson’s ode to wine from yesterday’s Observer. It’s a fantastic piece of wine writing from a non-wine writer.
I’m taking part as a guest in a podcast this week. It’ll be interesting to see what I’m like on the other side of the mic. It’s in a special feature all about English Wine from the excellent BYO Podcast.
Last week, after a multi-week delay, I finally finished my own podcast. What did everyone think of the final episode?
I tasted Tesco’s Picpoul de Pinet (£7.50) at a friends’ and really enjoyed it. It held a lovely texture in the mouth that having just had some high acid whites beforehand was quite nice to find some balance. Pears and a floral hint on the nose/palate made it a great quaffer.
While our house sparkling wine is Lidl’s Comte Senneval, I tried the 2013 vintage Asda Miralda Cava and loved it. It's usually £9.00, but is currently on offer for £7. For the price point, this is a steal. Rich, dry, with a slight lemon that verges on orange-peel in aroma. Way more interesting than most supermarket cava I’ve tried.
I had a brilliant grenache from Domaine Roche Audran that unfortunately is sold out now. This elegant, aromatic and smoky grenache was a brilliant accompaniment to middle eastern fare. This particular vintage seems long gone, but I’d hunt out the white from the same producer from Borough Wines (£22), or try the 2018 Côtes Du Rhône for £11.81.
What is Picpoul de Pinet? Is it the same as Piquepoul?
Prior to learning about wine, Picpoul (de Pinet) sat alongside Sancerre and Chablis as one of the three white wines that I knew was ‘good’ - whatever that meant. But what exactly is it?
Given it’s a French wine, Picpoul de Pinet is a place. It’s an AOC appellation that is part of the Languedoc region in the south of France.
That said, piquepoul is also a name of a grape. Piquepoul is commonly a white grape, but there’s a noir version available to, though it’s very rare.
White piquepoul tend to be full bodied, with citrus aromas. The best displays showing more depth with nuttiness and minerality. Picpoul/piquepoul is great grape to delve into on a budget. Even the best rated displays can be bought for under £15.