Don't Judge Me Mondays: Pineau de Charentes

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A few weeks ago some of our friends returned from a vacation to France.  Before they went they were raving about a French wine they’d had years ago and were hoping to get it again on this vacation.  Luckily, they found it and brought some back to share with my husband and I!  The wine is called Pineau de Charentes and I can see why they like it so much!


Pineau de Charentes is a dessert wine (aperitif if you’re fancy) that has a slight Cognac flavor to it.  That is probably because it is made with grapes from the Cognac region of France.  Each batch is made by using a small amount of a previous distillation (also called an “Eau de vie”).

There are white, rosé and red varieties of Pineau des Charentes.  We tried the white, specifically the Reynac winery.  This wine is best served chilled and I even drink mine over a few ice cubes (there’s probably a sommelier somewhere cringing over that, but oh well). The flavor is sweet and tastes a little of apple juice.  It is smooth and easy to drink, but be careful, it has a nigher alcohol content than most wines.  Pineau has 16-22% alcohol, compared to about 12% with your average white.


Because of the sweetness and slight apple taste of this wine, I think there are several foods it would pair well with. It would be a complement to a light fruit salad after a meal or with an apple dessert.  I think it would also be fun to pair it with a creamy cheese like Brie.  I plan on trying it with dark chocolate.

I will admit that this wine can be hard to find, depending on where in the world you live.  If you are ever in France, try a glass for me! 🙂  We looked at a few grocery stores and found several that could special order it.


Have you tried this wine?  What are some other obscure French wines you’ve enjoyed?



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