A wineglass is ideal for this exercise. Hold it up against a light background to appreciate the colours and hues.
Whites: Dominant tones range from fresh to gilded straw, then honey, with the gold becoming more intense with age. These are followed by hues of apple green, silver or gold. Pineau are limpid and of great brilliance.
Reds: Ruby to black cherry, sometimes fuchsia. Hues of pink, pomegranate, brick or amber with age.
Rosés: Pale copper in the case of light rosés; raspberry for the darker ones. Orange, pale or bright pink hues.


Turn the glass to aerate the wine and liberate the volatile molecules of aromas to appreciate their intensity and complexity.
Whites: Aromas of white and yellow fruit, honey, acacia. Ageing in wooden barrels gives notes of rancio: ripe and dried fruit, hazelnut, grilled almond, vanilla, buttered, toasted.
Reds: Red fruits predominate: strawberry, morello cherry, blackcurrant, preserved fruit. With time, acquires aromas of prunes and cherry brandy and roasted cacao.
Rosés: Tart red fruit, raspberry, redcurrant.  


Again, aerate the Pineau des Charentes by turning it on your palate. Your olfactory cells are in your nose, not your palate. The process known as retro-olfaction involves inhaling air when the wine is on the palate, to conduct the aromas directly to the olfactory bulb in the brain and detect the flavours that the wine leaves behind.
The first attack is lively and reviving, while the second gives a sweetness and fatness that envelops the palate.
Old and Very Old Pineau des Charentes are longer on the palate. This length actually has a unit of measurement: the caudalie, one second of the wine’s impact on the palate after it is swallowed.


Pineau des Charentes needs to be served at just the right temperature. If kept too cold, it will lose its aromatic intensity.
When used as an aperitif, serve at between 8 and 10 degrees Celsius, and add an ice cube if required.
When consumed during or after a meal, serve Old or Very Old Pineau des Charentes at a slightly below room temperature.


Always store upright. Recork open bottles and place in the fridge.