The French Underdog, Picpoul de Pinet, Is the Best Wine You’re Not Drinking

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Dewald Kristen)

If your white wine of choice is something crisp and bright, like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, then I’ve got a new pick for you. This summer I’m all about Picpoul de Pinet. It’s a little hard to pronounce (it’s Pik-pul-de-Pinay), but ridiculously easy to drink, and even easier on your wallet. A bottle won’t set you back more than $12 or so — most are honestly in the $9 range — which makes it the perfect choice for pretty much every summer situation, be it poolside lounging, sneaky picnic drinking, grilled dinners, or just your 5 o’clock happy hour on the front porch.

The Zippy, Affordable French White Wine You Should Be Drinking

Picpoul de Pinet is super crisp and super refreshing, which makes it the perfect summer wine. It’s not a complex wine — drink it when it’s young, as it definitely won’t improve with age — but it delivers great acidity and minerality with undertones of citrus and stone fruit.

The wine is made in the Languedoc region of southern France from a local, ancient grape called Picpoul or Piquepoul. Fun fact! Picpoul actually translates to “lip-stinger” due to the high-acid wine it produces.

What Should You Eat with Picpoul de Pinet?

This is wine that can be sipped on its own, when you’re doing serious summer lounging, but it also pairs exceptionally well with the season’s fare. Oysters, mussels, clams, lobster, and pretty much all kinds of fish match well with Picpoul de Pinet. So do grilled vegetables, salads, and that great spread of cured meat and cheese you’re toting to the park for your picnic.

3 Great Bottles of Picpoul de Pinet to Try

Have you tried Picpoul de Pinet? What’s your go-to summer white wine?