Kitchn Love Letters

I’m a Certified Wine Expert and This Is the Only Bottle I’ll Buy at the Grocery Store

published Jul 23, 2021
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woman holding wine bottle
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If I’m going to grab a bottle of wine at the grocery store this summer, it’s going to be white and refreshing. More specifically, it’s going to be this crisp, classic Cave de Pomerols H.B. Picpoul de Pinet. I love that it’s an easy-to-find wine that I can pick up while I do my grocery shopping for the week. It’s also reasonably priced (usually just $10 to $13), so I can keep my spending in check. And it’s just as good as anything I’d find in my local wine shop.

Credit: Diane McMartin

If you like the bright, grapefruit-y tang of Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll love Picpoul de Pinet. Its aromas are citrusy without being too pungent, and there’s often a little hint of something floral or tea-like in its aromas as well. It’s zesty and tart on the palate, but a little fuller-bodied than you might expect.

Picpoul is a grape from the Languedoc region of France. It has a long history in the region, and back in the 17th and 18th century it was often blended with other grapes. Now it has its own AOC within the Languedoc region, can only come from a few communes, and is made as a varietal wine. (Note: Buying something from an established wine region that has laws governing style and quality means it’s going to do what it says on the box.) Some producers will always be better than others, and I think this bottle of Picpoul de Pinet is a particularly good value for the money, but there is a pretty strong similarity between wines from this AOC (so if your grocery store doesn’t have this exact wine, you may find a another Picpoul that will earn its keep).

Is this the coolest wine? Absolutely not. There is no skin contact. It’s not “funky.” There’s no slightly risque drawing on the label that looks like it was done by someone having a psychedelic experience. It’s been around forever. But once you’re sitting by the pool with a glass of this in your insulated wine glass and a juicy novel in your hand (side note: Why am I not doing this right now?), you won’t care.