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Posts Tagged ‘Languedoc’

Love France Week – a guide to French wine

July 27, 2012 11:02 am
posted by Sarah

Along with good food, sandy beaches, stripey t-shirts and a jauntily placed beret, nothing says France like a good glass of wine. So our friends at Calais Wine Superstore have given us a case of six bottles of Chateau Les Terrasses de Bouey Bordeaux to give away as part of Love France week [you can enter on our Facebook page!].

But do you know your Bordeaux from your Burgundy, or your Claret from your Chardonnay?! Well Calais Wines Superstores’ Marketing Manager Ash Dharan is here to explain what makes a good glass of vin blanc or rouge and what to sup it with….

It’s fair to say that no other country is as associated with wine as our Gallic neighbours.  Whether it’s premium claret, a crisp rosé or sticky Sauternes, France has all your wine needs covered.  Here’s a rundown of the main wine producing regions in France.  But there are no rules when it comes to food and wine matching, so be sure to experiment!

Bordeaux Wines

Arguably the most famous wine growing region in the world, Bordeaux reds (clarets) fetch eye-watering prices in auctions.  Yet you don’t have to sell a kidney to enjoy good claret.  Try the Chateau des Leotins 2009 or Les Caleches de Lanessan Haut Médoc 2005. Pair with steak, rich lamb dishes or any other red meat.  Or serve Roquefort and walnuts with a Sauternes Caprice de Bastor Lamontagne 2004.

Pierre & Vacances’ Lacanau Holiday Village in the south-west of France will give you and your family the perfect base to discover the vineyards of Bordeaux.

Burgundy Wines

The most terroir-conscious of the French wine-growing regions!  Almost all wine from Burgundy goes by the sub-region in which it was produced e.g Pouilly Fuissé, Chablis, Côte d’Or, Maconnais.

Try the Mâcon Lugny Cave de Lugny 2009 with grilled, lightly spiced chicken or splurge on lobster thermidor accompanied by a Meursault Clos du Cromin Chartron et Trebuchet 2009.

Burgundy reds are an ideal partner for boeuf bourguignon (a regional specialty) as well as cheeses like brie or cantal.  They partner game very well too – serve up venison or duck with Maranges 1er Cru Les Clos Roussots 2008.

Côtes du Rhône Wines

Northern Rhône wines go very well with pâté and charcuterie as well as slow roasted lamb.  For exceptional value, try the Cave de Tain l’Hermitage Syrah 2009.  Southern Rhône reds accompany moussaka, cassoulets and shepherd’s pie brilliantly! I’d recommend Anne Delaroche Chateauneuf du Pape 2011.

Explore Rhône’s countryside and vineyards from Pierre & Vacances’ range of self catering accommodation on the French Riviera!

Provence Wines

Provence wines are intensely aromatic and change immensely when consumed with food as opposed to by themselves.  Take the Côte de Provence Rose Les Marinelles 2010 which is light enough to be drunk alone but can stand up to aioli and rouille which makes it a perfect accompaniment to seafood appetisers.

Experience Provence’s beautiful countryside [and wine!] from Pierre & Vacances’ family friendly Pont Royal en Provence Holiday Village.

Alsace Wines

Alsatian wines are influenced by Germany, and this is the only region in France that produces varietal wines [wines made primarily from a single named grape variety named on their label].  Aromatic wines are a match made in heaven for aromatic food such as Thai and Indian – try the Wolfberger Gewurztraminer 2010 with your next takeaway.  Or the Domaine Lowe Clos des Freres Bruderbach Riesling 2007  with pork and apple sauce!

Pierre & Vacances’ Residence Le Clos d’Eguisheim is the perfect place to explore the pretty Alsace and Lorraine regions in North East France.

Loire Valley Wines

The home of Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc as well as Muscadet, wines from this region are perfect accompaniments to seafood.  Try the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie Marie Louise 2009 with some moules marinière and the Pouilly Fumé Le Mont Fleuri 2011 with oily fish such as mackerel or trout.

Red wine lovers can find comfort in a Chinon Les Gravières d’Amador Abbé de Turpenay 2010, served lightly chilled at a picnic.

Languedoc-Roussillon Wines

This is the single biggest wine producing region in the world – it produces more wine every year than the whole of the USA!  There is a huge choice available and Languedoc wines are often more approachable and fruit-forward than traditional French AOCs [Appellation d’origine Contrôlée – the French certification granted to certain French geographical produces].

Lamb shanks or hard cheese would work very well with the Chateau de Fournas Corbières while chicken kiev or chicken cordon bleu could be accompanied by Bessière Chardonnay.

As well as the vineyards and countryside, savour the beautiful beaches of the Languedoc region on the Mediterranean coast from Pierre & Vacances’ range of self-catering accommodation in the area.

The Calais Wine Superstore is a British-owned, independent wine shop, if you’re passing through Calais, come and experience their tasting zone – try up to 70 wines for free everyday! Or, if you want to pre-order online, they’ll have it ready for collection so you can make the most of your holiday! To find out more about these wines, please visit