Friday, December 08, 2006

Youm Youm

Youm. What is it? Or even, where is it? Does it sound like the name of a drink? Would you be prepared to go up to the barman and ask for a glass of Youm? What does 'Youm' mean? It makes me think of Yom Kippur, so is it a Hebrew or Jewish word?

Youm is the French spelling for the Catalan word llum, meaning 'light' as in lumière. The trouble is, only a very few people know that, and they live mostly in south west France, so as an attention-grabbing, evocative name for an alcoholic drink, it is not wholly successful... at all, even.

On the other hand, it is very delicious. I tasted some last night at the vernissage for Promo'Arts' exhibition at Montpellier's Galerie Lafayette, the paintings adorning the walls of the restaurant. Diane Rauscher-Kennedy has an annual buffet to celebrate the end of the year and draw attention to her work providing wall-space for talented young artists. She had come across the producers of Youm, Pierre Massotte and his wife a couple of weeks ago at the launch of Youm. A small group of the best artists in the area had been invited to submit a couple of paintings from which 50 of the most successful businessmen in the region would choose one to be used on the labels. M and Mme Massotte are retired academics who have taken on a vineyard in Aspres, in the Roussillon Pyrenees and who are developing a new drink from the muscat grapes they grow rather than producing the rather sickly sweet muscat wine.

Youm is made of 100% small, immature muscat grapes which are partially fermented thus giving a low alcohol level of 6.5%, is slightly sweet and lightly sparkling. It reminded me vaguely of elderflower wine, and is in the same drink bracket as cider. It is beautifully refreshing and a lovely pale yellow colour. For the moment it is not wholly filtered so is slightly cloudy which adds to its rustic charm. It could be made totally organically, which would widen its appeal considerably.

It's aimed at young drinkers; those who consume alcopops, or the not so young who enjoy a light, slightly sparkling and refreshing drink. Women, I think, would go for it in a big way, and if they can make a brut version, it would probably attract the guys too.

The name, however, is the weak link as, to me, it evokes nothing but totally unrelated associations.

So, my suggestion for this drink would be 'Muscatier'. In the word you find the main ingredient plus exciting connotations of dashing young men which would appeal to the ladies romantically and to the guys for their sportsmanship. It's a word that both the French and English, and American, can say equally easily which is important if the Massottes have any hope of exporting it to the huge Anglo-Saxon market.

So, don't forget, folks, you heard it here first and it didn't cost millions of marketing agency euros to find!


  1. It makes my think of some sort of strange vegan foodstuff and if it keeps that name, I'm sure it won't sell; a shame as it sounds delicious.

  2. Memorable Quotes from
    "Just Good Friends" (1983)

    Graham : I'm a vegan.
    Vince : You'd never guess it.
    Graham : Do you know what a vegan is, Vince?
    Penny : Of course he knows what a vegan is, don't you, Vince?
    Vince : Absolutely, I never missed an episode of Star Trek.

  3. Hello ED:

    Hope you sent your bog & good ideas to Pierre Massotte. I agree with every word - YOUM is really difficult for us to swallow as a name, and most unappealing to anglo'saxon tongue. However, the drink is so super, it would go down really well on any table for collation at home, and outings too.


  4. NG: yes, I did. I emailed them and sent a link.


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