Duparc Pineau des Charentes “White”

Pineau des Charentes AOC, France; 17% ABV
imported by Halby Marketing, Sonoma, CA
$5 for 375ml at the Richmond, CA, store

When I ordered this, I thought it was just some French white wine I’d never heard of.  When it arrived, I was completely baffled, so I looked up Pineau des Charentes in Wikipedia: It is “a regional French aperitif … a fortified wine (mistelle or vin de liqueur), made from either fresh, unfermented grape juice or a blend of lightly fermented grape must, to which a Cognac eau-de-vie [twice-distilled spirits] is added and then matured.”  So, of course, I had to try one.

I think this is delicious!  It’s sweet from the fresh grapes, but a little less sweet than a dessert wine.  I’m not satisfied with my description here, but what comes to mind is honeysuckle / honey and yellow-grapey canned oranges, peaches, and pears.  The flavor of purified alcohol is also prominent.  I prefer it chilled.  For me, at least, this aperitif, with its delicious sweetness and high alcohol content, is a bit dangerous.  🙂


11 thoughts on “Duparc Pineau des Charentes “White”

  1. Shella

    Picked this up 8/14 in Santa Barbara. Cute little bottle, Grocery Outlet is the perfect place to try quirky selections. Tried it first room temp, hubby and I loved it. Totally charmed. Has the nose of whisky (I guess cognac) but the taste was wonderful. Then looked it up ready a cute story about how its creation in the 16th century was an accident. Decided to try it chilled also, good as well! Either way, we’re hooked. Going back to get a case – who knows if it will ever be there again!

  2. Janice

    I picked one. up from the Richmond, CA store a couple weeks ago and just opening it now. Googled the name and found your blog! Thx for ordering this aperitif. It’s very nice.

  3. Glenn

    I was given a bottle of this and was a little apprehensive since I am not a huge fan of cognac. However, I was very impressed with the smooth, sweet flavor of it. It doesn’t ‘hit’ my throat the way other cognacs have. This was very nice and delicious. Too bad it is in such small bottles.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Glenn. This aperitif is from Cognac, France, but it is not “Cognac,” the distilled spirit. I’m glad you also liked it, though.

      1. Darrell

        I didn’t use this as an aperitif or sipping, but rather for a breakfast fruit bowl where the fruit macerated just a little while. It didn’t give much of a flavor contribution, just a bit of a bite.

  4. jkaybay

    Picked up a bottle of this tonight in the Oakland store. I liked the look of it (I thought it was ice wine at first) and your review sold me on it 🙂
    Looking forward to trying it but tonight I opened the other bottle I bought – Robert Mondavi Heritage Reserve Red Blend (2014) – a central coast blend, $6. I love it so far! Reminds me of some Paso Robles blends I’ve had before. Here’s a review I found online: http://www.tastings.com/Wine-Review/Robert-Mondavi-2014-Private-Selection-Heritage-Red-Blend-Central-Coast-USA-10-15-2015.aspx

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      For nearly the last two years, I have worked at the Richmond, CA, store. Usually, the store owner orders the wines for the store, but I order them while he is occasionally away. Sorry for the confusion. 🙂

        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Um, we just needed more imported white wine to fill floor / shelf space and, even ordering, you usually don’t know exactly what you’re getting.


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