When wine is the topic of a conversation, France normally comes to mind. Maybe Italy, California, Chile or Argentina will get a mention, but France and wine are often synonymous. The wines that come from the bountiful grapes grown in Bordeaux, Burgundy or Champagne rarely disappoint.
French wine has a taste like no other region can produce. Even I, an enthusiastic consumer of the famed Argentine Malbec can’t denounce its birthplace, Cahors in southwest France.
There are so many perfect French wines available that it makes even the most seasoned sommelier’s head spin. With so many to choose from, making a selection can be challenging. The Alternative Daily wants to transport you to French wine country, whether you are sipping a Domaine Tempier red on a romantic winter getaway, or aiming to impress with a Château Léoville-Las Cases, an elegant touch of Bordeaux.
Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie “Côte Blonde”
Rostaing’s Côte-Rôtie is an appellation unto itself. From the hillsides of the Rhône Valley, where wine has been produced for over 500 years, the Mediterranean grapes in this region of France are among the oldest in the world. Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie “Côte Blonde” is a Syrah, or Shiraz, which maintains a rich, medium-dry body. This French red combines herb, fruit and spice aromas, and boasts a modern flare. It would be an ideal accompaniment to a romantic meal. Prices range according to the year, but be prepared for a price tag in excess of $150.
Château Léoville-Las Cases
This French red is a wonderful mix of distinction and subtlety only associated with Bordeaux wines. Château Léoville-Las Cases is a Cabernet Sauvignon that boasts plum and blackberry highlights. This red is sure to impress, as does any wine from the Saint-Julien appellation in the region of Bordeaux. A 2011 bottle costs on average $165.
Château du Cèdre Malbec, Cahors
Many believe that the Malbec grape variety comes from Mendoza, Argentina. However, the true origin of the Malbec grape can be traced back to Roman times. The appellation of Cahors, France is situated southeast of Bordeaux and is home to some of the world’s richest, most full-bodied Malbecs. Château du Cèdre winery offers a rich wood and dark berry Malbec that is sure to please. A bottle costs just over $100, but this is a good price for an established Malbec grown in a wine region that began in Roman times.
Domaine Tempier Bandol Cuvée La Migoua
The Bandol appellation in Provence is the home of the Mourvedre grape. Grenache grapes are used in combination to make a wonderful spicy wine. Domaine Tempier Bandol Cuvée La Migoua and the vineyards that produce it have a rich history in viticulture dating back to Louis XV. For a price of around $75, depending on the year, it is a palate-pleasing purchase.
Olga Raffault Chinon “Les Picasses”
The Chinon appellation is steeped in centuries of rich wine history. It produces elegant reds, whites and rosés. The region’s Cabernet Franc can rival any Cabernet Sauvignon. Olga Raffault Chinon “Les Picasses” is a medium-bodied Cabernet Franc that offers accents of tobacco and dark spices, giving it the unique taste which separates it from its Sauvignon relatives. The price per bottle is around $50, depending on age.
Adding a bit of French elegance to your wine cellar can never hurt — you never know when you may need to impress, or create a romantic atmosphere. These five opulent French wines cover a variety of regions and appellations in France that have centuries of viticulture history. In addition to the amazing taste and elegance of wine, it is also great for your health. It is antioxidant-rich and has been shown to increase circulation. Let your inner-sommelier free and tell us about your favorite French wines?
Stephen Seifert is a writer, professor, adventurer and a health & fitness guru. His flair for travel and outdoor adventure allows him to enjoy culture and traditions different than his own. A healthy diet, routine fitness and constant mental development is the cornerstone to Stephen’s life.