Roman Wine Review: Mulsum

The second wine in our series of genuine (sort of) Roman wine from Tourelles is Mulsum, a red.

Mulsum tastes like a really nice cough mixture. You know the type I mean: you take a swig to stop your cough so you can sleep at night, and then you take a bit more because it tastes okay.

I'm not using good winey language, I know; I should have said something like, "This wine has a strong, perhaps almost pungent, aftertaste, reminiscent of nuts and pepper," but what I'd really be saying is this tastes like a nice cough mixture. (I can feel any offers of a regular column in Wine Monthly slipping away with every word I write.)

Mulsum is a "normal" red wine to which has been added honey, cinnamon, pepper, thyme, and other spices in lesser amount. I'm guessing the honey and cinammon gives Mulsum the initial smooth taste, almost like a modern wine, and the pepper and thyme deliver the cough mixture finish.

You could probably serve Mulsum at a dinner party in an anonymous bottle and many people wouldn't notice, or at least, not comment. The finish might raise a few eyebrows, and I can imagine someone saying, "This is interesting, what is it?" At that point you could reveal your wine's fascinating provenance from Provence (how's that for alliteration?).

Mulsum was used in Roman times as their equivalent of an aperitif. It would do fine for the same purpose today. The winery suggests drinking it with duck with figs, small quails (of course you cook quail at home, don't you?), spicy dishes or Roquefort.

If Roman wine interests you, then check out the blog for Carenum and Turriculae.

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