Picpoul de Pinet
One easy way to impress a food and wine person is to show them something that they have likely not seen in the past. Picpoul de Pinet is the perfect grape for this. Never heard of it? Most people have not. I never heard of it myself until I was studying for the Sommelier exam back in 2004. The wine is produced in southern France in the Coteaux du Languedoc. The name of the grape means "lipstinger" and it does not disappoint. The acidity is brilliant, and yet, because of the warm climate, there is a presence of body to the wine simultaneously. Aromas of melon and apple, generally unoaked, and the limestone soil can frequently impart a cool saline component to the wine. I use this wine frequently to show the unique nature of whites produced in the Languedoc, where there is a vast opportunity to grow many types of grapes, and employ a wide array of production processes.