What are Douce Moen, Douce Coet Ligne, and Binet Rouge?
A. Names of shades in the new “Colors of the Vineyard” line of lipsticks from French cosmetics giant L’Oréal
B. The original names, in old French, for merlot, cabernet franc and pinot noir respectively
C. The names of apples historically used in Calvados
D. The historic names French barrel makers used for the shades of reddish mahogany color that signaled that the inside of a barrel had been toasted correctly
Unlike its French cousins Cognac and Armagnac, both of which are distilled from grapes, Calvados (CAL-va-dose) is distilled from apples (and sometimes pears). But not just any apples. Approximately 800 or so heirloom varieties of apples grow in Normandy, the French region most famous for this drink. Of these, most producers would grow 20 to 25 different varieties, among them, Douce Moen, Kermerrien, Douce Coet Ligne, Bedan, Binet Rouge, Frequin Rouge, Marie Menard, and Petit Jaune. The apples fall into four flavor categories: sweet, bittersweet, bitter, and acidic. By distilling different kinds of apples in different proportions, the Calvados maker crafts a subtle, complex apple spirit. About 17 pounds of apples are needed to make one bottle of Calvados.