Posted on: November 28, 2009


The story goes that  in the 16th century a wine maker poured —by accident— grape juice into a barrel that already contained Cognac. Few years later he needed the barrel and was agreeably surprised by the concoction et voilà! Pineau was born.  There is Pineau rouge and Pineau blanc, I prefer Pineau blanc.  It is a wonderful aperitif, though I didn’t spent enough time in the Charentes region to find out how popular it still is today.

Picture 2

Neither we got enough time to taste the escargots à la Charentaise. What we got to taste were delicious local oysters: the oysters Papin-Poget. These oysters are exactly the way I like them meaty but not too “fatty” —pas trop grasse— rich in liquid and a balanced taste.
I am quickly transiting through Paris before I head South to my homeland. I had very good  Egg Benedict & salmon for lunch at the Tourville and tonight it was  molto fun to watch the Rugby game  on T.V — even though the French team got crushed by the All Blacks (NZ).  Below a few pictures of Angoulême, the French capitol of Comic Books and the epitome of “Douce France” or Sweet France!

2 thoughts on “Fruit of the Grape & Fruit of Chance

  1. Ahhhhh, la douce France! J’ai fait un stage de français au mois de juillet 1989 à Royan, en Charente-Maritime. Près de Brouages, on a visité une claire à huitres et gouté son produit–les huitres de juillet sont bien grasses–SUCCULENTES!

    On a visité aussi Cognac, senti les effluves du liqueur qui vieillissait dans les chais, vu les champignons noirs qui se nourrissent de ces effluves, observé comme le cognac est fait, gouté du cognac… On a gouté aussi un subtil vin blanc sucré–le Château de Beaulon, l’un de mes préférés pour accompagner un bon dessert.

    Mais pas le Pineau. Il faut y remonter pour gouter ça. J’ai déjà la bougeotte!

    Quand aux All Blacks, je les vu quelques fois à la télé ici à Madrid–ils forment une formidable masse de chair agressive. But I seem to recall that, in the last match I saw–on a screen in one of Madrid’s Irish pubs a year or so ago–the French team defeated the kiwis.

  2. Here in the middle of Poitou-Charente, Pineau still appears to be the drink of choice. It is always offered as anyone enters our local bar “Bonjour, Pineau?” The oysters looked fabulous at the market yesterday but as I was there with 3 vegetarians I had no opportunity to try or buy. There is always next week.

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