French Wine

Whether you consider French Wine to be ‘in fashion’ or not, there are always two major considerations to keep in mind and they are - ‘matters of opinion’ and ‘matters of fact’ and the ‘facts’ always speak for themselves.

by Alan Hunter AIWS,

‘The Wine Garden of Eden’ – Where it all began

French Wines

All of the main grape varieties that go to produce the most popular wines from all over the world that fill our merchant’s cellars and shelves today, originate from France. Only two do not, Riesling and Gewürztraminer and they both come from Germany. This fact however is only one of the reasons why France has been the most important country with the most influential in terms of world- wide wine production today and throughout history. Couple this with their contribution to ‘world cuisine’ then you can appreciate why France is the envy of ‘the wine world’.

France consists of such a large number of different areas all producing wines of such diverse styles, it is like so many wine producing countries within one. France is also still the largest producer of ‘fine wine’ in the world to the world and its development of wine production methods, particularly in Bordeaux, is a much sought after expertise on a global scale.

French Wine Style:

France has an abundance of grape varieties, too many to list here in this feature and as we have already mentioned, the majority of the ones that produce so many of the world’s favourite wines, they are as follows:

For Whites - Chardonnay; Chenin Blanc; Sauvignon Blanc; Semillon; Colombard; Viognier; Pinot Gris [Grigio]

For RedsPinot Noir; Pinot Meunier; Cabernet Sauvignon; Gamay; Malbec; Merlot; Grenache; Syrah [Shiraz]

All these varieties have their own ancestral homes within France but are now ‘well travelled’ across the rest of the country. I have listed here a simple guide to just the major wine producing regions, the one’s not listed and there are many, still have a strong identity and form their own important part in the structure and history of wine making in France.

Burgundy | Bordeaux | Champagne | Loire Valley | Rhone Valley | Provence | Alsace | Languedoc-Roussillon

The two most famous wine regions are of course Burgundy and Bordeaux. Bordeaux is home to the two equally famous red wine grapes – Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with Burgundy being the birth place of Pinot Noir for its red wines and Chardonnay for the illustrious white wines of this region including of course the most well known of all – Chablis! We have previously covered many of the separate regions that go to make France so individual in terms of wine making, such as the Loire [the Garden of France] Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Languedoc and the famous southern Rhone Valley vineyards of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. All have their inimitable wines that belong so closely to their own varied cultural influences that have shaped wine and food development over the centuries.

So the purpose of this feature is to give you a general overview of what ‘Wine France’ has to offer and this should help you to decide what represents the value for money wine bargains available for you to enjoy from the ‘best of France,’ available through all of our advertised wine merchants.

by Alan Hunter AIWS,

French Wine Reviews & Food Matching

I have listed below from our wealth of French offerings a few of the maybe not so well known wines that you may miss when searching for some of the other more recognizable names. Try them for a change and you may be surprised how different, delicious and individual in style they are!

Pujalet Vin de Pays du Gers

Tasting Note:

"This southern French wine is made from the grape varieties of Colombard and Ugni Blanc, ‘showing off’ with delicate floral fragrances, flavours of fresh ‘under-ripe’ pears and hints of grated lemon and lime zest. It is exclusive to Waitrose!"

Matching this Wine with Food: Light pasta dishes with creamy sauces would be a delight here, as would also be a complete range of vegetarian dishes, but ‘hold the spice’!

Wines Direct Wine Guide: ****

Cuvée de Richard Rosé

Tasting Note:

"This light and ‘raspberry pink’ rose comes from the vineyards of the Languedoc region, deep in the south-west of France. It is made from an unusual blend of Cinsault and Muscat grapes, both well established in this region. It has a lovely dry style with flavours of ripe strawberries and the influence of Muscat gives this wine a subtle ‘grapey’ finish!"

Matching this Wine with Food: Light fish starters such as mackerel pate with buttered toast or just try with a bowl of fresh fruit salad and a little crème fraiche, but don’t forget the strawberries!

Wines Direct Wine Guide: *****

Ackerman Chenin Blanc

Tasting Note:

"This is 100% Chenin Blanc [the famous classic ‘central Loire valley grape’] is made by the well known and long established producers, Ackerman and is made in a delicious medium sweet style. It displays refreshing aromas and flavours of freshly chopped green apples, enhanced with a crisp vibrant acidity - Exclusive to Waitrose!"

Matching this Wine with Food: Seafood, grilled fish or white grilled meats, but my favourite would be on its own or as an aperitif before a dish of ‘pan-fried’ scallops with shredded ginger, reduced white and finished in a little cream! Makes you want to rush out and buy some, put on your apron and head straight to the kitchen!

Wines Direct Wine Guide: ****

Domaine des Eyssards Bergerac

Tasting Note:

" This wine, made by the well respected producer Pascale Cuisset, is full of soft ‘Merlot’ fruits displaying flavours of red currants and ripe plums with a hint of spice. Matching this Wine with Food: Try with a simple roast leg of lamb, accompanied by a light sauce of fresh mint and lamb stock, combined with the juices from the roasting tray It is easy to prepare and make delicious partners."

Wines Direct Wine Guide: ****

Les Nivières Saumur

Tasting Note:

"Tasting Notes: I love the reds of this region made from Cabernet Franc. This wine has a delicious red berry aroma with flavours of red fruits, created in a fresh and light bodied style. "

Matching this wine with Food: I loved this wine on its own, but in true Saumur style, try it with an array of cheeses and rustic style breads!

Wines Direct Wine Guide: ****

Château Mont Milan Corbières

Tasting Note:

"With intense aromas of black fruits with hints of dates, ripe figs and vanilla, it is easy to see why this wine won a Gold Medal at the 2009 Decanter World Wine Awards and at this price, well worth a try!"

Matching this wine with Food: Simple here, just a good quality rump, sirloin or rib eye steak, grilled to your liking and then covered with the juices from the pan. Serve with sauté potatoes, buttered ‘petit pois’ and a little dab of Dijon mustard!

Wines Direct Wine Guide: *****

by Alan Hunter AIWS,
French Wine Offers | Deal Of The Day
Bottle

Save 34% off Chateau Valfontaine Bordeaux now just £6.29 at Waitrose Cellar.

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Bottle x 1 £6.29 Visit site

French Wine Prices

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Save 33%
IWSC Bronze 2016
La Maison Elyse Merlot
Case price: £4.37
Per bottle: £4.37
 
Save 25%
J.P. Chenet Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Case price: £4.50
Per bottle: £4.50
 
Save 9%
IWSC Bronze 2016
Wine Atlas Cotes de Thau
Case price: £4.50
Per bottle: £4.50
 
Save 27%
Kiwi Cuvee Pinot Noir
Case price: £4.75
Per bottle: £4.75
 
Save 36%
Le Grand Clauzy Sauvignon
Case price: £4.75
Per bottle: £4.75
 
Cuvee Pecheur White
Case price: £4.99
Per bottle: £4.99
 
Cuvee Chasseur Vin de France
Case price: £4.99
Per bottle: £4.99
 
Waitrose Fresh & Zesty French White
Case price: £4.99
Per bottle: £4.99
 
At a glance
Colour White
Region South West France
Category Wine
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Tesco Anjou Blanc 75cl
Case price: £30.00
Per bottle: £5.00
 
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IWSC Bronze 2016
IWSC Bronze 2015
ASDA Extra Special Cabernet Sauvignon Languedoc Ro...
Case price: £5.00
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