I have had a form of colour blindness when it comes to Pouilly-Fuissé and Pouilly-Fumé. I’ve always confused the two – yet they couldn’t be more different. They are like an alcoholic version of black and white.
Pouilly-Fuissé is a classic, full-bodied white burgundy. From the Maconnais area in the south of the region, it is made entirely using chardonnay grapes. It isn’t cheap – you would be lucky to find one in even in a supermarket for under £12 a bottle, and you can certainly pay much more.
Pouilly-Fumé, on the other hand, comes from the Loire and is made using sauvignon blanc. It is a light, piercingly dry white wine that is much easier on the pocket.
They are so different, yet I’ve missed out on them for years – and all because my view of them had been coloured by a bad experience I once had.
When I was working in Paris 20 years ago, I ordered a glass of Pouilly-Fumé in a brasserie. I knew less about wine then than I do now and I had no reason to think that what I was served was not what I had ordered.
“What came was straw coloured and sweet. The experience put me off Pouilly-Fumé for two decades”
What came was straw coloured and sweet. I couldn’t have been more disappointed. The experience put me off Pouilly-Fumé for two decades.
The thing is, it put me off Pouilly-Fuissé too, as I could never remember which one of the two I had disliked so much. So I simply avoided both. Fortunately, I have realised my mistake and will now quite happily drink either.