November 26, 2018
Food, Consumer Resources
There is nothing more delicious than a glass of deep red burgundy or a sparkling champagne and France produces the best. There are many ‘young pretenders’ on the market, but for quality, sophistication and value for money, French wines are hard to beat.
At the very heart of the wine industry, French vineyards have moved with the times and are continuously recreating and improving, indeed, each year, there is something new and different to tempt us. The following examples are ones to look out for in 2019, as voted by drink website 31Dover.
A sparkling wine can only be called champagne if it is produced in the Champagne region of France. The most well known names include Dom Pérignon, Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Cristal, to name but a few. This summer has been a particularly good one for winemakers, with a good mixture of sunshine and rain; one to watch out for is the Dom Pérignon Rosé. It is a deliciously crisp champagne that looks as good as it tastes.
This is the name given to all French sparkling wines which have been produced in the traditional way, but outside of the Champagne region. They must meet all the rigid production requirements and are exceptionally good value for money: the Bourgogne, Loire, Alsace and Java regions are well-known for producing quality crémant. For the best buys of 2019, look out for Cave de Lugny, Crémant de Bourgogne, and Philippe Michel.
It would be remiss not to first mention the highly exalted Beaujolais nouveau, made from Gamay grapes and produced only in the Beaujolais region of France. The 2018 is now perfect for drinking and look out also for Alexandre Burgaud Beaujolais-Villages Lantignié, with its wonderfully refreshing, dominant flavours of black fruits. Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a delicious wine any year, but it should be noted that it is also produced, in small quantities, as a delicious, full-bodied white; well worth spending that bit extra on.
This is the French version of the German variety and is produced in the Alsace region of France. It is slightly drier than its German cousin, but remains consistent with the quality of this exceptional grape and its aromatic, almost flowery hints. Try Château de Riquewihr “Riesling” Blanc to experience one of the best, at a reasonable cost.
France excels at this type of wine which is produced in the Sauternes region of Bordeaux using Muscadelle grapes. This region, which lies along the River Ciron, has the ideal climate to develop botrytis, which makes these wonderful, sweet wines so delicious. Appellations include Sauternes, Barsac, Cérons, Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, Loupiac, Premières Côtes de Bordeaux and Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire. Look out for Château Folly – delicious served chilled.
We are thoroughly spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing French wine and 2019 will be no exception. The Loire region, home to the Chenin Blanc grape, has produced the most amazing Savennières this year and Sancerre wineries, based in the Loire Valley, have increasingly improved their Sauvignon Blanc. Also from the Loire region is one of the most under-rated of French wines, Muscadet; try it with oysters or appetisers – it’s fabulous. Whatever wines you are looking for in 2019, the one thing that can be guaranteed is that French champagne, aperitifs and wines will not disappoint.