Just perfect, “JUST” wine from the Languedoc

Dear Wine Ladies, The last several visits to my local wine store has ended in great satisfaction with respect to the taste, quality and price point of the wines that ended up in my shopping cart. I now head straight to the French section having discovered a region called Languedoc that has some great tasting wines that suit my budget. My latest find was called “Just”, a Cabernet for under $10.00 that was just well… great. Now that my curiosity has been piqued, I’d love to know more about this region and the wines. Jacqueline Dear Jacqueline, You’ve “Just” stumbled upon, excuse the pun, France’s best value wine region, which indeed is producing increasingly higher quality wines at very affordable prices. The Languedoc, often bracketed with Roussillon (to it’s immediate south), as in Languedoc-Roussillon is quantitatively the most important wine growing region in France comprising approximately twenty-five percent of all vines planted. Located just inland from the beaches of the Mediterranean, the vineyards bask in the sunshine with temperatures reaching as high as 30 degrees Celsius in the mid summer; too little rain can sometimes pose a problem, while the wind “tramontane” offers relief by way of cool air from the mountains. Major red grape varieties planted include Grenache, Syrah (commonly known as Shiraz), Cinsaut and less commonly now Carignan, with a rise in plantings of the international grapes Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The region, mostly made up of small farmers, is also enjoying investment dollars from well-established producers outside the area, increasing the profile and in many cases the quality of the wines. Our May 5th TV show, dedicated to the Languedoc wine growing region will include tasty recipes, a tasting of the “Just” Cabernet as well as the Chardonnay and more info on this exciting region.

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