Pézenas is increasingly well served for good wine shops. Just up the road from Le Wine Shop at 59 avenue de Verdun is la Maison du Vin, which opened its doors in mid-August. I was passing the other day, and popped in for a browse. The first thing I saw was an Oenomat in which Aurélien Carron offers a choice of some 20 different wines. Depending on the bottle price of the wine, a tasting sample will cost you 90cts or 1.80€. I think this is a great idea for a wine shop; you could just go for a tasting, and it would certainly save you from buying something you turned out not to like, and would most certainly encourage a new discovery or two. Naturally Aurélien is focusing on the Languedoc, including some pretty upmarket names such Domaine la Peyre Rose and Borie-la Vitarèle; not for him the cheaper end of the region. And there also wines from hors region. He had just taken delivery of a small grower’s champagne, and was planning on some Chablis from Domaine Grossot, and maybe Billaud-Simon. I usually find it hard to resist buying something in a wine shop, and this time was no exception. I came away with a bottle labelled very simply and intriguing: Vin de Table, and then in small print Vin de France, made by Catherine Bernard in the village of Castelnau de Lez. Aurélien explained that it is a pure Carignan; with part of the cuvée made like a red wine, and the other half as a rosé, with the two components blended together. Drink it slightly chilled, he suggested, so we did and found it to be fresh and fruity, with some original flavours.