A Bargain Charmer

These days, it’s hard to get excited
about a $7 bottle of wine. Too many are pleasant enough, but simple and,
ultimately boring. So it’s a pleasure to discover one that’s a real
gem – with enough verve and energy to interest even the most jaded
The Domaine des Hospices de Canet 2005, a “simple
country wine” – or vin de pays – from the Cotes Catalanes in the
Languedoc-Rousillon region of southwestern France, is one such find. A
blend of 60% Carignane, with the rest split evenly among Syrah and
Merlot, the wine is like a softened version of a Cote du Rhone. Juicy,
grapey and fun, it still has enough structure and grip to keep it
interesting. The winery is owned by Domaine Cazes,
one of the largest, if not the largest, producer of biodynamic wines in
France. Biodynamic is beyond organic – farming is conducted according
to the phases of the moon and some bizarre rituals sanctioned by a
German organization called Demeter. The Domaine des Hospices de Canet is
not certified biodynamic, but the farming practices are essentially the
So what you have here is an inexpensive charmer that is ideal for
simpler foods such as charcuterie, cheeses, burgers, pizza, even
stir-fries – in other words, a weeknight dinner at home. And it’s
organic, to boot. I’m going back for a case.
Currently, the Domaine des Hospices de Canet is available in the DC
region only at Cleveland Park Wines on Connecticut Ave NW, across the
street from the Uptown Theater. But it can be ordered by any store in
the DC, MD and VA markets through Country Vintner.

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