The AOC Languedoc Picpoul de Pinet vineyards cover some 1400 hectares (3000 acres) around the Thau lagoon to the west of the Mediterranean Golfe de Lyon.
It forms a triangle bounded by Agde, Pézenas and Sète and is the largest white wine producer in the Languedoc.
Crystal clear with green highlights, though can be more golden from older vines,
Soft, delicate nose, with pleasant hints of acacia and hawthorn blossom.
Delicate and fresh in the mouth it has an excellent acid/structure balance.
It neutralizes the salt and iodine in shellfish and other crustaceans, and is surprisingly good with rich cheese and charcuterie.
Matching wine and food
Picpoul de Pinet is not only splendid with seafood and shellfish as well as other traditional Mediterranean dishes, but also with cheese and chocolate. It’s best drunk young and cool (between 8-10°). Le Picpoul de Pinet se boit dans l'année qui suit la récolte et doit être servi entre 8 et 10°.
These two recipes – a treat with Picpoul !
Croquettes de brandade
A Languedoc and Provençale speciality based on a purée of salt cod, potato, and olive oil : look it up in the "Larousse Gastronomique" cookbook.
This recipe is a great starter, you can probably buy Brandade freshly made in a local market, it comes tinned too.
Serves 4 people.
- 400 g de brandade de morue
- 1 egg
Preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes.
- Hand roll soup-spoon sized quantities of brandade into small croquettes (fishcakes).
- Dip each in flour, then into the beaten egg, then into breadrumbs.
- Heat oil in frying pan, add croquettes (taking care they do not touch) and cook them turning regularly until golden.
- Serve very hot with a green salad or tomato coulis
To drink : a Picpoul de Pinet matured in oak.
Raw anchovy fillets in olive oil
Anchovies are synonymous with the Mediterranean. You can buy them bottled or canned but, thanks to modern chilled transport, you can often buy them fresh from the sea. A delicious, firm fleshed fish.
Serves 4 people.
500 g fresh anchovies
Preparation: 15 minutes, cool for approx 3 hours.
Gut the anchovies, removing the heads and backbone, Rinse in cold water.
Dry them and place on a plate. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, and a trickle of olive oil.
Refrigerate for 3 or 4 hrs – no more than a day.
Just before serving, chop fresh dill and sprinkle over fish.
Serve as a starter with lemon quarters.
To drink : a traditional Picpoul de Pinet.