Last year while having an extravagant dinner at the Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island, the waitress surprised me with a glass of Pineau des Charentes, a French apéritif. It's made in Cognac, on the western side of France.

Pineau des Charentes is not wine. The grapes aren't fermented, instead year-old cognac is added to fresh grape juice before the juice has a chance to ferment. The result is a sweet drink, very pleasant, and honesty if I hadn't been told I'd have assumed it was a dessert wine. It's usually had before dinner, but it's heavy enough I prefer it after. It's not terribly expensive.

I thought I knew a fair bit about wine, and we gave the nice lady in Sooke a hard time about wine selections. I think she had fun fooling me with something new.

  2003-09-07 02:34 Z