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  • Writer's pictureBrent McTavish

When spice and citrus mix in harmony with sweet and bitter

Updated: Feb 13, 2023

Bal Pagès, with its absolutely stunning label evoking images of vintage parties from the 1930s, has an equally stunning and unique taste. Simon Pagès, the young re-inventor of this family tipple says, “Bal Pagès invokes a party!”. We both could not agree more.

Bal Pagès

After discovering, hidden in the bottom of a drawer his family's ancient recipe created in the 1930s, Simon dusted it off, reworked it, and after several attempts he revealed his rebirthed final version.

His family based in the Minervois once produced many different styles of Vin doux naturels (naturally sweet wines), along with wine-based aperitifs, which they sold all over France thanks to their mobile bar. Criss-crossing France, attending fairs and balls, they would literally roll up, unfold their store front, install a terrace and begin serving their creations within a very musical atmosphere. This is what I would describe as the traditional French "joie de vivre" (the joy of living).

Created in Argens-Minervois from a base of rosé wine made from grapes grown in the heights of the Minervois Wine Appellation, it is then combined with a 96° neutral alcohol, which is then infused with local plants, herbs, spices and carefully selected bark.

Bal Pagès bottle

After maceration, the nectar is brewed and filtered with precision to preserve the maximum amount of aromas and delicacy. Everything is bottled by hand in the family cellar without the addition of sulphites, artificial flavours or preservatives.

Bal Pagès is best enjoyed well chilled with a slice of orange, lemon or grapefruit. To give it an effervescent and thirst-quenching effect, you can lengthen it with a dash of tonic water. I of course, have discovered it pairs beautifully with creamy and nutty dark chocolate, like Italian Truffle or it's sweeter milkier cousin Gianduia or Gianduja.

Bonne dégustation et bonne santé!

PS: In Carcassonne, one can find Bal Pagès at the stunning new wine & cheese shop called L'Oenologue Fromager located next door to Pâtisserie Bimas, both on Avenue Arthur Mullot, 11000 Carcassonne

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