I wanted an effervescent wine in the Bouké line, sensed that this is the moment to drink unpretentious sparkling wines, and have fond memories of Blanquette de Limoux, a lightly sparkling wine, when I was biking in the Hautes-Pyrénées last summer.
So, I did some research. Perlant (also called perlé, frizzantino or perlwein) is the softest sparkling wine (less than 2.5 atm). It produces a delicate steam of tiny bubbles in the glass and a light spritz on the tongue. It is meant for early drinking.
Perlé is produced in Gaillac in southwest France from local grapes – Mauzac, Muscadelle, Loin de L’oeil and Sauvignon. I tasted a few imported bottles with my winemaker, Gilles Martin, here in New York. We also tasted various examples of pétillant, crémant and mousseux, which are more intense.
Gilles had the idea of blending a trio of Pinot grapes – Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. The blend has delightful aromas of peach, pears, citrus and white cherries.
It tastes great with hors d’oeuvres, salads, seafood or brunch, or as the base of a mixed cocktail.
A bit of sparkling is very nice at brunch, lunch on a rowboat, an afternoon picnic, an evening barbecue, an art opening, a book group, a bridge game, a potluck inner, a town sweeper, even on a first date.