La Troussepinete Rouge
The red Troussepinete (Merlot based) displays intense cherry flavors, red grapes and pitted plum with a dry tart finish. Great as an aperitif, in cocktails (works well with tonic) or as a dessert wine with any chocolate based or red fruit desserts.
About the Producer
Lise Baccara was created in 1988 by Gérard Paignon, a small wine grower and liquoriste from the Cognac area. The head office is￼located in Pons (Charente-Maritime) near the renowned town of Cognac.
The Troussepinète has its origin in the Vendée, a coastal region north of Cognac. It is believed that it was made clandestinely by the unofficial distillers of the Vendée who were not granted the right to distill by the French authorities. Since ancient times, wines of mediocre quality were mostly consumed flavored. The upper classes were able to flavor their wines with expensive imported spices and plants such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves or rose petals. The people with less means had to use their imagination and find other local ingredients. A lot of farmers had small vineyards in the Vendée, but the wines produced were just ordinary in quality. However, there was a lot of blackthorn (sloe) bushes and the winegrowers and distillers started to use it to make troussepinète wines. The French word for “blackthorn bush” is “épinète,” which we find in the name troussepinète.
There are different ways to make troussepinète. Gérard uses the original ancient recipe. Young blackthorn shoots are harvested in the spring then sliced up and allowed to macerate in low alcohol cognac for 1-2 months to release the sap. Wine (red or white) is added, as well as some sugar and the blend is adjusted to a final content of 17%, then filtered and bottled. Note: the scientific name for the blackthorn bush is prunus spinosa, which produces the popular sloe berries, but berries are not used to produce troussepinète, only the spring shoots full of sap and almond like flavors.