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French Kiss (France) Corbières 2001
I must say I'm usually deeply sceptical of any wine with a gimmicky name or packaging, believing that a good quality product shouldn't need such tricks to sell. This wine, with a lurid red plastic cork and dodgy sales pitch on the label ("I'm a sultry French kiss that will make your lips tingle") certainly falls into that category, but, to my surprise, the stuff in the bottle is a delicous drop. That is explained by the fact that it is made by the Mont Tauch winery - surely the best and most consistent cooperative working in France today. The wine is smokily aromatic, with herbs, red fruits and a deep, soft, strawberry and briarwood element. On the palate it has the rich, round, sweet, sun-filled fruit power of the Mediterranean south, with chocolaty nuances and spicy tannins. Today, believe it or not, is national kissing day (groan) and this wine - good value at £4.99 - has been reduced by one pound in Sainsbury's, down to £3.99 until July 23rd 2002.