One of the great anticipatory pleasures of life in the Languedoc is watching a friend get up from the dinner table, disappear downstairs into his family's cellar, and reemerge with a dusty bottle or two of richly colored liquid. These are homemade cordials or liqueurs are made from plums, blackberries, lemon verbena, green walnuts, myrtle berries, or sloe berries, among others. Vin d'orange is among the most approachable and easy to make. It's a subtly explosive fortified wine that smells like an orange grove and balances tenuously between sweetness and an edge of bitterness and alcoholic bite. Chilled with a single ice cube, it is a perfect opening act to the drama of an evening's conversation, a meal, or merely watching the sun's waning glow in the western sky.
The Way We Buy Wine Now
How online wine shopping (and learning!) is finally taking over.