Languedoc AOP wines – for a truly Mediterranean Christmas

AOP Pic Saint Loup

With Christmas a couple of days away and New Year’s Eve well on the horizon, it’s time for important decisions: which wines will you choose to bring joy to the festivities and bring your food pairings to life. It’s worth looking beyond the usual suspects lining the supermarket shelves. The festive period is a perfect time to discover new regions and wines, and explore the stories of the places and people behind them.

The Languedoc, with its fascinating mosaic of terroirs, offers diversity and sophisticated simplicity across its many appellations and styles. From traditional method sparkling wines to luscious sweet and fortified pours, this is a region whose wines are inextricably linked to the multiple cultures that crossed the Mediterranean since the beginning of times, creating a melting pot of oenological and gastronomic traditions. Coastal and mountain terroirs have long been home to a wide variety of grape varieties, in turn shaping the character of various appellations whose historical track record is matched by a constant capacity to innovate and improve.

Today, Languedoc combines the classicism of well-established names – think Crémant de Limoux or Corbières – with the innovative flare of lesser-known appellations, such as Fitou or Terrases de Larzac, increasingly recognised for their expressiveness and consistency.

The local, ancestral winemaking traditions mean that the work of today’s winemakers rests upon a wealth of knowledge and a deep connection with the local terroirs. Behind each bottle of a Languedoc AOP wine are stories that will bring meaning and character to your Christmas celebrations. But quality and identity are not the only calling cards of the Languedoc AOPs: they also offer uniquely good value, proving that there’s no need to break the bank to have finely crafted, expressive wines at your table.

AOP Limoux

If looking for the perfect sparkling wine to open festivities, Crémant and Blanquette de Limoux offer a great alternative to pricier, traditional method counterparts. Their trademark elegance and salinity makes them not only ideal celebration bubbles but perfect food companions as well.

As an apéritif, you might also want to consider a crisp, mineral Picpoul de Pinet, itself a piece of history produced from the ancestral Piquepoul grape – wines that carry the breezes and smells of the Mediterranean. Again these also make great food wines, with a special affinity with the flavours of the sea – grilled fish, seafood platters, sushi, sashimi.

For those for whom any celebration calls for a bottle of rosé, the young Cabardès appellation offers fleshy, gastronomic Syrah and Grenache-based pink wines, that combine freshness with moreish appeal.

The Languedoc is also a place of powerful, complex reds which are increasingly turning heads among sommeliers and wine buyers. They combine structure, ageing potential and a savoury, quintessential Mediterranean flare (think aromas of dried herbs and garrigue), alongside a plush drinkability and fruit complexity. Expressions from Fitou, Saint-Chinian, Terrasses de Larzac, Corbières or Faugères, are just some of the wines guaranteed to lift the flavours of your Christmas Turkey or loaf.

AOP Corbières

And to finish in style, the many fortified iterations of Muscat Blanc a Petit Grains and Muscat of Alexandria, with their fragrant lusciousness and underlying freshness will underline the zesty spiciness of a good Christmas cake.

Explore Languedoc AOP wines this Christmas – wines that encapsulate the season’s values of simplicity, authenticity and unpretentiousness. A unique combination of historical legacy and down-to-earth generosity.

Six Languedoc AOP wines to try this festive season:

Antech, Cuvée Saint-Laurent, Crémant de Limoux 2019
From one of the appellation’s flagship producers comes this expressive vintage Crémant de Limoux. The Chardonnay-dominant blend was aged for 24 months on the lees, lending the…

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