I recently discovered Pineau Des Charentes, which is a spirited wine from France. This fortified wine gained AOC status in 1945 and is comprised from freshly pressed grape must and cognac. It’s a fresh and fruit forward wine, that can be enjoyed on its own as well as in cocktails. Due to its time spent in oak, there are a wide variety of aromas and flavors you will find when sipping Pineau Des Charentes.

It’s a low alcohol by volume compared to other fortified wines, which is nice for those seeking something lighter during the summer and fall seasons. It makes a wonderful summer cocktail, and I enjoyed the company of some wine and spirits writers while sipping Pineau Des Charentes for the first time. The dinner was hosted at L’Appart, a Michelin Star Restaurant inside the famed Le District, NYC. Here we began with cocktails thanks to Certified Pineau Des Charentes Ambassador Franky Marshall. Franky has been in the cocktail and bar industry for a long time and is extremely talented and knowledgeable about cocktails and spirits.

We started off with a P&T with Le Coq d’Or, a young white Pineau. This was quite refreshing as you can imagine with the heat wave we have been having since July, so this was a cocktail I got right on board with! Paired were some passed canapes, before an elegant four-course dinner. The seated portion began with Oysters topped with Caviar and a Pineau Granita. This dish was a refreshing way to begin a fantastic meal, especially when paired with Tressendier Park, a young white Pineau des Charentes.  After was an interesting and elegant pairing of Foie Gras, Cherry and Cocoa paired with Revisuer, an old white Pineau. This one is aged 5 years and is full of walnuts and dried raisins, which pair beautifully with the foie gras and cherry.

The foie gras was decadent, but what came after was an interesting and “right on the money” pairing. Canadian Pork with Pineau Glaze and Asparagus, paired with Château Beaulon, a 5-year red pineau. The red pineau was slowly becoming my favorite of the evening, due to it’s pairing possibilities and the dish that went along with it. After the pork came a cheese course, with Chabichou du Poitou and a Pineau Jelly. This course was paired with Pierre Ferrand young white Pineau and was a nice course between all the savory and Pineau pairings.

For dessert, we enjoyed a very old Pineau from Bache-Gabrielsen, paired with Chocolate, Apricot, and Almond dessert. It was a wonderfully sweet and complex way to end the evening and really wowed the crowd.

I am so happy to have gotten the opportunity to taste this delicious spirited wine from France. It’s very pair-able and if you’re seeking something to give someone as a gift, or simply want to have something new and exciting at the dinner table, give Pineau Des Charentes a try!