As a country with a long wine making history, France has a rich tapestry of regions and styles to choose from. I have to admit to being a Francophile myself when it comes to wine. This is, in part due to the deft touch the French have that shows in the elegance and finesse of their wines.
As you can imagine, I was very pleased to hear that Lidl are having a French wine sale which will be available in stores from the 20th March. Here are my 5 recommendations to try from this range:
Blanchard de Cordambles Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune, Burgundy, 2015 (12.5%, €12.99)
A Chardonnay from the Hautes-Côtes de Beaune, which is within the most famous area of Burgundy, the Cote d’Or. Wines from this appellation – an area where the standard of produce is legally controlled – will only be granted release once they have passed an analysis and tasting panel. This wine offers excellent value with a rich and full body and an elegance that makes it a pleasure to drink. Ripe pear and apple on the palate and an excellent balance of acidity. A great match with a creamy chicken dish.
JP Muller ‘Vieilles Vignes’ Pinot Gris, Alsace, 2015 (13%, €9.99)
This Pinot Gris is from the region of Alsace, which is on the border with Germany. Alsace has the most hours of sunshine in France per year, after the Côte d’Azur. This is the same grape as Pinot Grigio, but the extra sunshine afforded by Alsace can be tasted here. Rich and fruity, whilst maintaining a light and easy drinkability, full of pear and citrus fruit. A perfect wine to serve with salad and light fish.
JP Muller Riesling Grand Cru Engelburg, Alsace, 2014 (12%, €14.99)
The Riesling grapes used to make this wine, come from a Grand Cru – an area of land that has produced excellent wine year after year. Riesling wine is greatly under-appreciated in Ireland. This is a fantastic example of what a dry Riesling can deliver. Light bodied, with excellent acidity and a lovely lime and mineral nose and palate. An excellent pairing with spicy food, such as curry.
Collin Bourisset Fleurie, Beaujolais, 2015 (13%, €11.99)
Named after the village from within the Beaujolais region where the wine is made, Fleurie is made from the Gamay grape, which generally produces light and fruity wines. This Fleurie has soft red fruit on the nose and palate, and a hint of spice and a slight herbal note and would go well with a variety of dishes, especially duck.
La Vierge du Chateau Arnauton, Fronsac, 2012 (13.5%, €12.99)
From the area of Fronsac, a close neighbour of St Emilion, this wine shows an elegance that the east of Bordeaux is famous for. From a decent vintage, this also has power shining through in the deep black fruit, spice, and full body you will find on the palate. An excellent example of the value that can still be found in Bordeaux, if you know where to look. If you’re looking for a wine to serve alongside your steak, this is it.