Finding a wine seller you trust is like taking on your own personal sommelier. Selecting the right wine for an occasion becomes as easy as Anjou, Beaune, Cahors.
We stumbled across a terrific caviste in Issigeac in the Dordogne a few years back. Issigeac is a pretty mediaeval village built by the English. On market day it’s rammed with tourists. We always go off-peak – precisely so that we can seek out one man in particular.
The object of our visit is the owner of Au Taste Vin, in Issigeac’s Grande Rue. If we go in when it is quiet, we know we’ll get his undivided attention.
Wines are laid out by region, as you would expect, but the bulk of his stock is local wines. He knows each wine and is happy to explain the difference between this vintage and that one or this château and that one.
What I like, too, is he’ll tell you which wines offer the best quality for the price. So, if you are looking at his display of pécharmant, for instance, he will have wines from €10 to €20 – but he’ll tell you which is the best. It’s rarely the most expensive one.
“When we’re back in the area in December, we’ll drop in and see him and let him know what we thought of the wine”
Through him, we discovered Château de la Jaubertie’s Mirabelle cuvée, which has become one of our favourites. Tonight we will have roast beef for dinner, so we plan to open a bottle of Château Tour des Gendres’ La Gloire de mon Père, another of his recommendations.
When we’re back in the area in December, we’ll be sure to drop in and see him and let him know what we thought of it. Doing that only helps him to understand our tastes even better – so that he can recommend wines for us to buy that we will love. Everyone wins.