AOP Pineau des Charentes, to give its full name, is mostly made in the Charentes-Maritimes. According to legend, it was invented in 1589 when a wine grower carelessly threw some grape must into a barrel of Cognac, and years later discovered that he’d created a rather lovely vin de liqueur. It’s also used in cocktails, or drunk on ice as an aperitif.
There are two kinds: the more popular white Pineau is mainly made from Ugni blanc, Folle blanche and Colombard, while the red and rosé are made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.
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