The French region of the Languedoc produces amazing wines that are easy on the palate and the pocketbook. Savvy wine drinkers are catching on: sales to the United States are growing by leaps and bounds, including higher end and sparkling wines.
To celebrate, May 27th, 2016, has been declared “Languedoc Day’ and everyone is invited to join in on the fun. Pick up a few bottles of red, white, rosé or bubbles, log in to your favorite social media platforms, and share your tasting notes, food pairing ideas and photos using the hashtag , #LanguedocDay. Discover a whole new world of affordable wines that are perfect for summer parties, events, and picnics.
Here Are a Few Languedoc Jewels To Get You Started:
Think sparkling wines are pricey and only for ‘special’ occasions? Then you haven’t heard of ‘Limoux’ the historic home of bubbles! Legend has it that Dom Pérignon learned (or stole, depending on the story!) the technique while visiting the Abbey of Saint Hilaire where they’d had been making traditional method sparkling wines since 1531.
Antech “Brut Nature” Blanquette de Limoux ( $12.99) Buy It Here
Antech ‘Brut Nature” Blanquette de Limoux is a prime example of why Blanquette and Crémant de Limoux are the 2nd most imported ‘method traditional’ French sparkling wines after Champagne.
Tasting Notes – Crafted from 90% Mauzac, the traditional Blanquette variety, with 5% each of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay, this is a crisp, clean sparkler. Crunchy green apple, mixed with lemon zest and citrus provide a refreshing, palate cleansing sip that would brighten any brunch.
Hugues Beauvignac Picpoul ($11.99) Buy It Here
Nothing pairs better with summer than the vibrant, dry wines of Picpoul de Pinet. Here in the eastern, coastal section of the Languedoc, vineyards are planted near the large, saltwater lake, Etange de Thau – home to fantastic shellfish. No wonder the Picpoul grape (it means ‘lip stinger’ in the local Occitan language) pairs so well with fresh oysters, fried calamari with aioli or perhaps a salad with soft cheeses.
Tasting Notes – With the first whiff of Hugues Beauvignac Picpoul you’re transported to the Mediterranean! Sea mist mingles with ripe golden apple, Asian pear and white floral notes that open into zesty citrus tinged with hints of dried sweet grass and herbs. At $11.99, it may prove to be the perfect ‘ house white’ for your summer sipping pleasure.
Rosé wines are hot! While many think ‘Provence’ when we think ‘pink’, the Languedoc produces some stunning examples at very appealing prices.
AOC Minervois, found east of the famous medieval city of Carcassonne and west of historic Narbonne, is one of the oldest winemaking regions of the Languedoc and produces fabulous rosés
700 year old Chateau de Donjon has been home to the Panis family for over 500 years and today, winemaker Jean creates a number of highly praised, award winning red wines from the stony terraces and clay/limestone slopes of the Clamoux terroir, in the northwest corner of the appellation. The valley is cooler than other parts of the AOC resulting in medium to full bodied wines.
2015 Château du Donjon Minervois Rosé ($11.99) Buy It Here
Tasting Notes – Aromas of ripe summer cherries, strawberries, blood orange and ginger drops leap from the glass and the palate is a juicy, mouth watering mix of berries, nectarines and stoney minerality. This is a red drinker’s rose, a ‘gastronomic’ wine that could handle charcuterie plates, grilled vegetables or game birds.