Pineau des Charentes is a fortified wine from France and many in the bar industry feel it deserves its moment and opportunity to shine brighter in the cocktail world. Hence, all October long, we will celebrate Pineau Month; a month-long celebration of Pineau des Charentes, a unique fortified wine from France. It’s an opportunity for spirits enthusiasts in the U.S. to learn more about this gorgeous beverage, its uses, and the passion behind its production. Thirsty — along with Pineau de Charentes — invite you to read up on Pineau’s history, virtually meet its producers, and try it at your favorite bars. There will also be opportunities to connect with Pineau des Charentes bar partners Frank Mills, Richard Allison and Sarah Morrissey.
Late bartender Josue Romero will also be remembered during the month-long activation, with a cocktail he created before his tragic death will be on offer — and a touching tribute to bar world legend.
Pineau Des Charentes is made in the same Charentes region of Western France where Cognac is made and shares a great deal with the spirit. Made from a combination of grape juice and Cognac eau-de-vie, it is typically made from white grapes but can also use red as well. The result delivers a fruit forward beverage that rides the delicate line between wine and spirits. Often also compared to sherry or port, Pineau typically comes in at typically at around 17% ABV. We are bartenders increasing reach for it to craft lower proof offerings for guests and as a more delicate option to evoke subtle flavors slightly reminiscent of other grape based beverages in a cocktail.
Pineau des Charentes obtained Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status in 1945. Legend has it that Pineau des Charentes is the result of a happy accident. In the late 16th century, a wine-grower carelessly threw grape juice into a barrel containing Cognac eau-de-vie. Years later, the barrel was discovered and with it a unique drink: a limpid wine with golden hints. Pineau des Charentes was born.
Although traditionally enjoyed slightly chilled neat, Pineau has become increasingly popular as a cocktail ingredient embracing its artisanal craftsmanship, intriguing versatility, and friendly, well-balanced flavor profile.
For more on Pineau Month, visit pineauacademy.com
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