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Fortified wines may not be the biggest sellers in the U.S. but they should be. Madeira, Port, Sherry and Pineau des Charentes....there is so much to love about each of these fortified wines. In my recent column in the Napa Valley Register, I explored the delicious world of Pineau des Charentes that comes from the Cognac region in Southwestern France which you can read here.

If you say “Pineau” out loud, it sounds like “pinot.” As I looked into my glass filled with a golden yellow liquid, I thought, “This is pinot? Perhaps it is pinot grigio?”

Well, it was neither. It was Pineau des Charentes, simply called "Pineau," a French aperitif.

Pineau des Charentes, like Port, Madeira and Sherry, is a fortified wine. But, Pineau des Charentes is from the Charente department of the Cognac region in southwestern France.