France, Languedoc, Mediterranean wines

Manouches, Zelig-Caravent

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Tonight my friend from Agde and my travelling days (from a time when you could walk through customs with a corkscrew, wine bottle and shoes intact) bought me a wine from around his area in Languedoc.

The wine is called Manouches. Quite by chance, my friend says. Then it is a wonderful coincidence: Manouches also means gypsy. But it means more than that. The word has an association with Django and jazz –

“Perhaps because Django was a Manouche, and ‘gypsy-jazz’ music is so accociated with Paris & France, the word has become synonymous with gypsy-jazz guitar.”

The wine has the intense pure blue fruit common to natural wines but it also has a dark shadow (non-fruit) that follows the bright midday sun (fruit): thyme and nuttiness (hazelnut).

I like the Languedoc when it is like this: breaking the rules. It is a platinum gypsy: an unusual blend of 70% Alicante Bouschet and the rest Cinsault.

Image: Ava Gardner in The Barefoot Countessa.