Pineau des Charentes is a French Apéritif made in the Cognac region. It is classified as a vin de liqueur.
Pineau des Charentes can be white (actually gold-coloured), made from white grapes, or rosé, made from red grapes.
Very ripe grapes are pressed to produce fresh grape juice, then let sit for a few hours to start fermenting, then blended with Cognac. The Cognac raises the alcohol level, stopping the fermentation. After this, it is aged in oak casks.
It will have an alcohol content between 16.5% to 22%, and a sugar content of 12 to 15%. The rosé is sweeter than the white.
Received its AOC in 1935.
The white can be used in making sauces for fish and seafood. To drink, serve chilled or on the rocks.
Pineau des Charentes was first made by mistake in 1589 in Burie, France. An oak barrel still had a small amount of Cognac in it. Fresh grape juice was added to the barrel, the barrel corked and set aside. Later it was tasted and liked.