New Grape Ish: An Intro to Picpoul

Aug 29, 2020

ty morrison

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Whew! This morning has been heavy. Words can’t even begin to describe the utter shock I’m in from hearing about Chadwick Boseman’s passing last night. To know that man was battling stage IV colon cancer for the past four years and still decided to show up and do what he loved is a testimony in itself. There’s some days that I feel motivated to blog and other days when I let life’s distractions side track me. This week has been emotionally draining to say the least. When I tell you I’ve struggled to draft my last two blog posts for the month…I’VE STRUGGLED! But, hearing Chadwick’s story of how he still went on to act in all these great movies while dealing with a serious illness is inspiring. I’m dedicating this post to his memory and the reminder to not let life’s obstacles keep you from your dreams.

So, let me push past my little ish to bring you some New Grape-Ish! I’m back to talk about another grape varietal that you may not be too familiar with. It’s called Picpoul and it actually goes by several other names including Piquepoul and Picapoll—just in case you see it spelled differently. I’ve only had this wine a couple times. The first time was at Broc Cellars in Berkeley and the second at a wine bar in North Carolina. I really enjoyed it both times, but unfortunately Picpoul is not a wine that you see very often at the store or even on a wine list. However, I want you to know all about this varietal so that if you do come across it you won’t think twice about giving it a try!

What is Picpoul?

Picpoul (pronounced pik-pool) is one of the lesser know Rhone Valley varietals. It’s primarily grown in the Rhone Valley and Languedoc regions of Southern France. Although, you’ll see a lot of California winemakers working with this varietal as well. Picpoul is very unique in the sense that it has red, white, and pink variants. Traditionally, it exists in light-skinned grapes (Piquepoul blanc), but you can also find dark-skinned (Piquepoul noir) grapes, as well as a very little grown Piquepoul gris. Picpoul literaly translates to “lip stinger”and produces wines known in France for their bright acidity, minerality, and clean lemony flavor.

Food Pairings

Picpoul’s zesty acidity makes it a great choice for pairing with fried foods, as well as seafood. For example, anything from raw oysters and sushi to Mediterranean-themed fish dishes and fried calamari. Its high acidity can also cut through rich foods like cheese and charcuterie, or even desserts, making it a versatile wine for fun picnic outtings.

2019 Bonny Doon Vineyard Picpoul

I picked up this bottle of Picpoul from one of the local wine bars here in Houston for $18. This is 100 percent Picpoul Blanc from the Beeswax Vineyard in Arroyo Seco, Monterey County, Central Coast, California. It’s a pale straw color with very unique aromas. I got this saltiness like from an ocean breeze along with subtle hints of beeswax and a florals scent. It’s a very distinct smell. On the palate you get lots of lemon, apple, and pear coupled with nice mineral notes that add a thick texture to the wine. As you’d expect it has lots of tart acidity and savoriness that are definitely noticeable. This is a really refreshing and delicious wine with a nice bit of complexity as well. It ends dry and long.

I highly recommend trying Picpoul if you’re not a fan of Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a great alternative if you’re looking for a dry white and don’t mind a little acidity. Have you tried Picpoul? Let me know below. Until next time…glasses up!

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About theBlog

In 2015, I started the YGOM blog as a creative outlet to chronicle my journey to learning about wine. I started off mainly reviewing different wines and wine-related events. As my passion and knowledge grew, I began offering tips and advice to make wine consuming fun and easy for wine lovers, especially those who were novice drinkers. Over the past six years, the YGOM blog has evolved into a valuable resource helping readers better understand their palates.

Today, as the vision for YGOM has expanded, the blog will focus on highlighting fun, out-the-box experiences that put a fresh new spin on wine. Consider this your guide to finding wine activities to add to your “must try” list. We’ll also provide tips and hacks that will teach you how to elevate your own wine experiences whether you’re at home, hanging out with friends, or entertaining a group. YGOM is going to help you feel confident in your wine knowledge no matter the occasion.