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Sexton Vivier

Stéphane was first introduced to Pineau des Charentes by his grandmother, Mémé. She lives an hour north of Cognac, a stone’s throw from Bordeaux, where this local fortified sweet wine is enjoyed mostly before dinner. When Stéphane met a man who pushed him to make this magical potion of his youth, followed closely by one who knew where to get California’s best brandy, he knew the stars had aligned. With healthy skepticism from his wife, Stéphane poured his heart and soul into making his beloved Pineau. The result is magical indeed. Even Dana agrees.

Sexton Vivier (named in honor of other things in Stéphane’s life which, like this wine, are sweet and special) teases the senses with notes of dried Turkish apricots, concord grape and pomegranate seed, spiced up by hints of black tea and orange peel.

Serve chilled, either the French way, as an apéritif, or the American way, as a digestif. The French drink it straight. Dana drinks it on the rocks with a splash of soda and an orange wedge, except of course when Mémé is watching.

Vintage: 2015

Price: $35 a bottle

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