Floc de Gascogne, a Taste of Summer

back yard bbq

It is summer in Los Angeles and you wouldn’t know it. The days are intermittently cool. Only occasionally does the sun rev up enough power to make a handful of the southern California city dwellers turn to shorts and summer dresses. I miss lush grass, thick sweet air, angry rainstorms and, oddly, the crown of sweat-soaked curls that twist at the nape of my neck on the hottest of days.

This summer holds nothing to the hot-house heat and lush green of the east coast. There are no lush green trees, heavy with sun-soaked leaves or grassy front yards so excited by the season’s heat they swell like miniature forests.

Here in the valley of a former desert, the change in season is miniscule. Palm trees are parched. Grass grows on borrowed water. Lawns are so manicured you could count every blade of grass from the standing position.

I need a back yard picnic to perk me up. Pronto.

Luckily, a pair of great friends are having a back yard party this weekend. I knew exactly what I needed to bring with me to perk me and the rest of my Southern California friends up: a chilled taste of summer in a glass.

perfect summer bbq wine
Floc de Gascgogne

Floc de Gascgone–a recent discovery thanks to a fellow restaurant professional and friend—is a blend of fresh grape juice and young Armagnac is a straw colored apertif served chilled. A classy and ancient drink, Floc de Gascogne is a thoroughly modern drink that’s been enjoyed since the dark ages. Crisp, and lightly sweet, the Floc is like a wine cooler that went to an Ivy league grad school: its very sophisticated and smart.

Chateau de Laubade Floc de Gascogne is a 16th century adaptation of the earliest version of the apertif, which blends fifty percent Colombard and fifty percent Ugni Blanc grape juice with a young Bas Armagnac. After settling for a year and decanting, fresh grape juice and young Armagnac is blended in a closed vat and aged until the end of winter. Bottom line, this is a perfect way to start a meal or end a night with a bit of cheese. Serve chilled, this delicate nectar has a playful hint of Armagnac that offers the sweet taste of summer. No matter what the weather is like.

You can find Floc de Gascogne online at my favorite online wine store retailer, K&L. You can see some more of my recommendations and links to this blog over at the K&L store’s blog.

*I do not get paid to write for them.  I’m a big fan!


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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.


  1. August 8

    This is on my list! (Well now that you introduced it to me I mean) GREG

    • Food Woolf
      August 8

      It’s great stuff! I’m talking with the folks at K&L to make sure they order a big batch so they’ll be ready for several orders!

  2. So glad to see that you are making the most of our odd summer conditions in SoCal. If the weather does not cooperate at least our taste buds can! Cheers to you for bringing on summer with a “chilled taste of summer in a glass!” xo

  3. I’ve never seen this stuff around, but I can’t wait to seek it out. Looks like a great pairing with some oozy cheese. Nice blog — I just happened upon it because I loved the name. Cheers!

  4. August 9

    Brooke, this is too funny! We lived on Floc while we were in France for half of the summer. It was the one kind of alcohol (besides a bottle of Armagnac) that we smuggled home. It is the perfect way to start a meal – perfect!!

  5. August 10

    Lovely photography and writing Brooke! I have recently discovered a love of all things boozy from the Gascogne region (most I have found happen to go rather well with summer days and charcuterie!).

  6. Dennis Mitchell
    September 18

    There’s a San Francisco Bay Area shop called Weimax. and I’ve purchased a Floc from them made by the Fezas family at the Chiroulet estate. It’s really good and cost, about $15 for a 750ml bottle. They’ve also had some ratafia and some Pineau de Charente.

    • Food Woolf
      September 18

      Thanks for the great information, Dennis! This is great for anyone in the Bay Area! Cheers!

  7. Thos Weatherby
    November 26

    Wine with dinner is a good example. If I have a $60 bottle of wine my tip would be about $6 more for the same service. If the restaurant wants to take care of their servers, pay them more. I been in food service for over 30 years. The best service I have had was when I could leave a tip. The worst service I have ever had is when the gratuity was included. Spare me with the arrogance. Train your crew and follow up with them. So should I have to tip more if I have the steak instead of the lasagna?

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