Flowers for Julien – Beaujolais in May #Winophiles

Panorama of vineyards at sunrise Beaujolais France

When I was studying to become a Certified Specialist of Wine, I used certain tricks to be able to remember different regions or appellations.  When I tried to remember the Beaujolais Crus I used:

St. Amour loved Julien, he gave her Chenas, and windmills and flowers and took her to Chernoble with Morgan and Reggie to see Brouilly play in her Brouilly Coat. 

Might sound silly, but this love affair with St. Amour and Julien stuck in my memory and helps me to always remember the Beaujolais Crus in order from North to south (for the most part).  Brouilly was a really cool band in my thoughts.

Map of Beaujolais and the Beaujolais Crus

Now I will not profess a great love of Beaujolais.  I mean, I love the fun and romance of Beaujolais Nouveau. It’s one of the first wines released each year, in November on the third Thursday of the Month.  I remember, long before I fell in love with the details of wine, going with friends to a Beaujolais Day Party.  It’s fun wine, smelling of bananas and bazooka bubble gum, meant for crazy partying, NOT for contemplation.

But truly, other than Beaujolais Nouveau, the only Cru I have tasted was from Moulin-à-Vent.  It didn’t float my boat.  Now there are a few reasons this might have been, and I certainly should not write off an entire region for one bottle (we tell people this all the time), but there is so much wine out there and so many amazing regions, that given the choice, I would always opt for a different region, other than Beaujolais.  So, the French #Winophiles diving in to Beaujolais this month…well it was time to give Beaujolais another try.  I’m certainly glad I did.

Each month the French #Winophiles gather to ponder on a French wine region.  Each will write a piece, tasting a wine, perhaps doing a pairing.  They might reminisce on a trip to the region, or dive head first into research and daydreaming or planning a trip.  You’ll find a list of those pieces at the bottom.

Then on the 3rd Saturday of the month (this month it is May 16th) we gather on Twitter at 8 am Pacific time (a much more reasonable 11 am if you are on the East Coast) and following #Winophiles you can join in on the conversation.  Do you have a favorite Beaujolais?  Or do you want to learn about the region?  Grab a cup of coffee (or wine) and join us.

Beaujolais

Panorama of vineyards at sunrise Beaujolais France
Panorama of vineyards at sunrise Beaujolais France

Okay, lets talk about where we are.  First off, this is France.  Beaujolais is the red headed step-child region that sits south of Burgundy, on the West side of the Saône river.  The region is just 34 miles long and 7-9 miles wide. 

The Northern part of the region sits on Granite soils, while the southern portion is mostly clay.

A little about Gamay

Gamay grapes on the vine in Beaujolais

Gamay and Its Parents

Gamay arrived into this world in the 14th century, the result of a hookup between the elegant stately Pinot Noir and that peasant girl Gouais. Who is Gouais you ask? Well, Gouais at this particular time was the most widely planted white grape in Western Europe. They went their separate ways, but hooked up again in the 16th or 17th century resulting in another love child, Chardonnay. Gouais has almost disappeared. It is found in only a handful of vineyards today.

The Disinheritance

In 1395, Peter the Bold officially banned Gamay from the Côte d’Or in Burgundy. He called it a “disloyal variety” and even claimed it was harmful causing disease in humans. He gave the vineyard owners 5 months to pull it all out. And there was a lot to pull out.

Here’s the deal. Pinot Noir is bratty to grow and doesn’t put out a lot of fruit. Gamay on the other hand, is generous and easy. This was the time of the Black Plague, something we can all relate to a bit these days. As a result there were not many peasants available to tend the fields, thus not much food and wine, making for even fewer peasants. A vicious circle. Gamay was easy to grow and by adding fertilizer, like manure and grape skins, vineyard owners could produce large quantities of fruit, with less work.

Philip however, needed to keep up appearances and he wanted his Pinot, which was very respected. So, Gamay was disinherited from Burgundy. It kept its home in Beaujolais and today, the region is dedicated to this grape.

The continuing roller coaster of quality

The Beaujolais offers vine-covered panoramas of undulating hills, winding country roads, forgotten hamlets built upon wine cellars & unspoiled natives who like visitors. Beaujolais has everything a wine-loving tourist could desire, except good wine.

Kermit Lynch, “Adventures on the Wine Route”, 1988

In the 1980’s when Kermit Lynch wrote this, he was lamented the quality of wine at that time. The marketing machine that is Beaujolais Nouveau had made quality wine in Beaujolais of scant quantity. He spoke with people who remembered Beaujolais as a quaffable, amiable wine that went beautifully with the rich dishes of the region. These dishes worked up a thirst and made you go back to the glass again and again, which was why it was good that these wines rarely clocked in above 11 abv.

Adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch. 25th Anniversary Edition Published in 1988
Adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch. 25th Anniversary Edition Published in 1988

The winemaker Jules Chauvet, who Lynch spoke with at that time, was frustrated with chapitalization (the adding of sugar) to increase alcohol levels as well as filtering to make a clean and pristine wine that consumers in the New World were clamouring for, afraid of a little cloudiness in their wine.

It’s a little reminiscent of Philip’s earlier laments, n’est pas? Like so many wine regions, it seems as though Beaujolais has a continuing roller coaster of quality. However, my wines, though both over 13%, were balanced and didn’t seem to have been chapitalized. Perhaps we are back on a quality swing.

Lynch also quotes Jean-Baptiste Chaudet, who had been a leading wine merchant in Paris. Chaudet said:

The day the consumer demands a more natural product, the winemakers will be obliged to take up the methods of their ancestors.

Jean-Baptiste Chaudet, from Kermit Lynch’s Adventures on the Wine Route

We are that voice. I have heard that natural wines in Beaujolais are on the rise.

Carbonic & semi-carbonic masceration

When we are drinking Beaujolais Nouveau, we are drinking a wine made through carbonic masceration. What is that? Well first let’s discuss what it’s not.

Normally when making wine, you bring in the grapes and crush them, sometimes you let them soak on the skins, then you ferment them.

With carbonic masceration, you reverse this, fermenting and then crushing. You bring in the fruit, put it in a sealed tank and blanket the grapes with CO2 so that an enzymatic process begins, which causes the berries to ferment inside their skin.

With semi-carbonic masceration the weight of the fruit crushes some of the fruit on the bottom, which begins to ferment. The fermentation produces CO2 which pushes the oxygen out of the tank and again, the berries ferment inside their skins. After 8-12 days they are then crushed and we proceed with wine making as normal.

This technique can create notes of banana, candied fruit, pear, raspberry and sometimes even bubble gum.

Nouveau wines made in this method go directly into bottle, but the Cru wines will often see oak and some aging. There are also some Cru wines that are made without this method. Both of my wines used the semi-carbonic masceration method.

The Crus

There are 10 villages designated as Beaujolais Crus.  From North to South they are:

  • Saint-Amour
  • Juliénas
  • Chénas
  • Moulin-à-Vent
  • Fleurie
  • Chiroubles
  • Régniê
  • Morgon
  • Côte de Brouilly
  • Brouilly

Below and around these villages you find the Beaujolais-Villages AOC and then Beaujolais AOC.

Styles of Beaujolais Crus

The wines of the Beaujolais Crus can broadly be divided into into three styles:

  • Lighter Styles
    • Chiroubles
    • Fleurie
    • Saint-Amore
  • Fuller-Bodied Styles
    • Brouilly
    • Côte de Brouilly
    • Juliénas
    • Régnié
  • Age Worthy Styles
    • Chénas
    • Moulin-à-Vent
    • Morgon

(I’ve seen several different versions of this break down. You will have to taste for yourself to see what you think.)

This brings us back to why I wanted to try 2 different Crus this time around.  When I tasted before, it was a 2015 Moulin-à-Vent.  I was tasting in 2019.  This is a wine worthy of aging.  Perhaps, it just was not aged enough?  Or…it might have been stored poorly and as a result, when I got it home, it had lost something. Of course, I might have been having a bad day (maybe it was a leaf or root day on the biodynamic calendar?).  Or, it might have just not been a good wine.  Regardless, I was ready to try the other styles of Beaujolais Crus, picking a lighter style in Fleurie and a fuller style in Juliénas.

So a little more on these specific regions:

Fleurie

Panorama of Fleurie and Morgon in Beaujolais

Fleurie, the Queen of Beaujolais, sits at a higher altitude, on steep slopes. The mount of La Madone towers above the appellation. Soil here is 90% pink granite. The wines are said to be lighter and more aromatic with notes of roses, iris, violet, ripe red fruit and peach.

Domain Lathuilier Gravallon

The estate our wine comes from has 15 hectares of vineyards in 6 different Beaujolais appellations.  Two of these hectares are in the Beaujolais AOC, one in Beaujolais Villages and the remaining 12 hectares are in 4 of the Beaujolais Crus including: Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon and Brouilly Pisse Vielle.

The Domaine is not certified Organic or Biodynamic, but they do try to work in an eco-friendly way.  They do not use chemical treatments or fertilizers, and use cover crops in some of their vineyards. The vineyards are located on slopes of between 20 and 40 degree.

Wines are produced in a semi-carbonic method.  After hand harvesting, and some de-stemming, berries do an 8-10 day masceration.  After malo-lactic fermentation some of the wines go into oak for 3-12 months.  Wines are then lightly filtered and bottled.

Juliénas

Juliénas takes its name from Julius Caesar. Vineyards sit between 230 and 430 meters. The region has ancient roman sites and the soils here are the most diverse of all the Crus with slate, diorites, sandstone and to the west, clay. Wines from this region have notes of strawberry, peach, cinnamon, violet, and peony.

Pardon & Fils

The Pardon family has been in Beaujolais since 1820, when the family owned a vineyard at Hermitage in Régnié Durette.  In the early 20th century, they were marketing!  Their wines appearing in many French cities, including Paris. They are primarily negociants.

They currently own vineyards in Régnié-Durette, Beaujeu and Fleurie, but produce wines from all 10 Crus.

On to the Wines

Domaine Lathuiliere Gravallon Fleurie Grand-Pre 2017

Fruit for this wine comes from a 1.91 hectare vineyard on granite soils.  The vines average 50 years old. 

Grapes here are hand harvested, partially de-stemmed and then vinified in the traditional vinification method of semi-carbonic masceration.  They are vatted for 8-10 days under temperature before pressing. Cellaring potential is 3-5 years.  So this is not a wine for long aging.

The nose on this was elegant, with cranberry and red fruit, then the wafting floral scent of violets. On the palate it was red cherry and cranberry. This wine is generous, but carries itself with grace and elegance.

Suggested pairings: Duck, guinea fowl, quail, thin charcuterie, ham with parsley, veal, lamb and soft cheeses. This wine sits at 13% abv and the SRP is $22.99.

Pardon & Fils Les Mouilles Juliénas 2017

Les Mouilles is a climate located above the village of Juliénas facing south.  These are clay soils and the wine can age for 5 or more years. The wine goes through semi-carbonic masceration for 10-12 days before pressing and malo-lactic fermentation.  It ages 6 to 8 months in tank before filtering and bottling.

The nose on this wine was immediately earthier, with a little smokey meat on it. The red fruit was there as well as dried herbs, peach and a touch of cinnamon. On the palate this was darker and a little broodier than the Fleurie.

Suggested pairings were: Meat, creamy poultry, rare beef, smoked meats and brie. The Julienas sits at 13.5% abv and the SRP is $19.99.

Pairings

Soft cheeses with two Cru wines from Beaujolais
Soft cheeses with two Cru wines from Beaujolais

We chose to savor these wines over a cheese and charcuterie platter. We chose, brie, feta and a honey chevre, plus prosciutto, Italian sausage, cranberries, almonds and pickled cherries.

The wines went beautifully with everything. The simple pairing allowed us to really take the time to appreciate these wines.

Beaujolais from Fleurie and Julienas with Ahi Tuna
Beaujolais from Fleurie and Julienas with Ahi Tuna

We went back the next day and did a simple pairing of Ahi Tuna Steaks with a salad. We did just a light drizzle of a ginger soy sauce at the end. This again was good with both wines, but I especially enjoyed it with the Fleurie, where it brightened the tuna and increased the floral notes in the wine.

The French #Winophiles

I only tasted from two of the Beaujolais Crus. Get ready to explore these and more with the other #Winophiles. They are bound to have exceptional wines and pairings!

Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm experiences “A Casual COVID19 Visit with Charcuterie and Chateau de Poncie Le Pre Roi Fleurie”

Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Cam pairs “Tuna Pâté + Joseph Drouhin Hospices De Belleville Brouilly 2016”

Jill at l’Occasion explores “Soil + Wind: Tasting Cru Beaujolais with Château du Moulin-à-Vent”

Payal of Keep the Peas is “Welcoming Summer with a Berry Delicious Brouilly”

Lynn at Savor the Harvest finds “Fleurie – The Princess Queen of Beaujolais Crus #Winophiles”

Jane at Always Ravenous explores “Cru Beaujolais: Tasting and Food Pairings”

Jeff at Food, Wine, Click enjoys “Cru Beaujolais at the Grill”

Linda at My Full Wine Glass discovers “Gamay and Granite – A Beaujolais Love Story #Winophiles”

Susannah Gold at Avvinare finds “Cru Beaujolais – An Endless Discovery”

Pinny at Chinese Food and Wine Pairing discovers “Cru Beaujolais – Cedric Lathuiliere Fleurie Paired with Frog Legs #Winophiles”

Nicole at Somms Table explains “Julien Sunier Régnié and a Focaccia Fail”

Lauren at The Swirling Dervish meets “Morgon de Jean-Pau Thévenet, One of the Beaujolais Gang of Four”

Kat at The Corkscrew Concierge is “Exploring the Differences & Pairing Versatility of Cru Beaujolais”

Martin at Enofylz Wine Blog considers “A Taste of Chénas, Beaujolais’ Rarest Cru”

Cindy at Grape Experiences, explores “The Wines of Fleurie – An Enchanting Introduction to Cru Beaujolais”

Terri of Our Good Life pairs Cru Beaujolais with Rustic Foods.

Gwendolyn at Wine Predator is Comparing Louis Tete’s 2016 Brouilly and Morgan Gamay from Beaujolais With Pairings.

Resources

Robin Renken CSW (photo credit RuBen Permel)

Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.

When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.

French Wine…where to begin? #Winophiles

Map of French Wine Regions

This month the French Winophiles are diving into a French Wine 101.  It’s timely as we all enter our comments to the government in opposition to proposed 100% European wine tariffs.  (If you have not heard about this, I’ll post some links at the bottom for more information.) We have done a bit of writing on French wines and you will find links to those pieces. Many of these pieces were written in conjunction with the French #Winophiles, which means there is the extra bonus, of each of those pieces having links to other articles written by the rest of the #Winophiles! If you are interested in French wine, you will have plenty of reading available!

French Wine 101

I’m here to rally for French wine.  If you are new to wine, French wine can be a bit overwhelming so let’s start at the beginning.

Old World vs New World

To be sure, when we say “Old World” in reference to wines, we think first of French wines.  But what does “Old World” mean?  From a scholastic point of view: Old world wines are dominated by terroir, they are defined by place.  Typically these wines are more restrained and elegant.  New World wines, on the other hand tend to be reflective of the winemaker’s style and are often more fruit forward and bold.

That is a really broad definition of the differences, and doesn’t always hold true, but when people say “Old World” and “New World” this is what they are thinking.

French wine names

In France, wines are named for the region they come from, not by the variety of grape as we do in the new world.  This takes us back to that idea of “terroir” which is a sense of place, with soil, and climate.  So rather than speaking about Chardonnay in France, you would speak of Chablis or White Burgundy.  Both of those wines are made with Chardonnay, but the wine is named for the region.

When we think of Bordeaux, we think of age worthy reds.  These are typically Cabernet or Merlot based, depending on which bank of the river the region sits.  And you will notice that I said “based”. These wines are blends of the different varieties of grapes that grow best in this region.

There is one exception to this. In Alsace, the white wine region on the German border in the North East of France, wines are often labeled with the variety.  This comes from the German culture and this area throughout the ages, has bounced back and forth between French and German control.

Without going too deep into the wine labels (that’s a rabbit hole best saved for another day), let’s talk about some of the most well known French Wine Regions, and I’ll give you a translation for what varieties you will see from each.

French Wine regions

Map of French Wine Regions
Map of French Wine Regions

I love maps.  It gives you a better sense of the geography and influences on a region.  I could dive into the climates and soils in each of these regions (I do love to get geeky on these things), but this is French Wine 101!  So let’s put together some dots for you, on what varieties you will find in each of these regions and what you might want to eat with each of these wines!

Loire Valley – Val de Loire

Map of the wine regions of the Loire Valley
Map of the wine regions of the Loire Valley

This is white wine country!  You will find a bit of red, but the white wines are likely to be the ones you have heard of.

Muscadet

On the West end of the Loire Valley closest to the Atlantic Ocean. Melon de Bourgogne, which you will hear called Muscadet, is most prevalent here. This is a dry white wine that pairs really well with seafood. You will get citrus, and green apple and pear along with a lovely note of salinity. Go for shellfish with this wine

Chenin Blanc

Moving east Chenin Blanc begins to shine. Vouvray and Saviennières are well known Chenin Blancs from the regions of Touraine and Anjou-Saumur respectively. The two can be very different. Vouvray can be made from dry to semi-sweet to sweet, and you will find you need to do a bit of research to determine which sweetness level you are getting. Saviennières has been called the “most cerebral wine in the world”. These wines have depth of flavor, great acidity and minerality.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc, is mainly found in the Upper Loire, the area furthest east and inland. Here you hear of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. These wines are crisp and high acid. Pair them with fish or poultry. With cheeses these are wonderful with goat cheese or other creamy cheeses (think brie).

Cabernet Franc

Not to be overlooked is Cabernet Franc which in this region is the primary red wine. Chinon or Bourgueil in the Touraine region produce elegant Cab Francs. These wines can be slightly spicy with raspberry and violet notes and are a favorite at Parisian Bistros.

For more…

Champagne

Popping a champagne cork!

Well you know what Champagne is!  This region and it’s soil and climate produce some of the world’s finest sparkling wines primarily from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

These wines, while often looked at a just for celebrations or just with the hors d’oeuvres at the top of the meal actually are perfect during a meal. The bubbles and acidity clean your palate making every bite taste as amazing as the first.

There are plenty of classic pairings, but try potato chips, buttered popcorn or fried chicken! The bubbles and acid with the fat and salt are heaven.

For more…

Alsace

Famous wine route in the Vosges mountains Alsace France
Famous wine route in the Vosges mountains Alsace France

This region sits on the German border and as I mentioned earlier has bounced back and forth between French and German control. The names and architecture here reflect that mixed heritage and the wines do as well.

These bright aromatic white wines are perfect to keep your nose in all day or dab behind your ears. But…if you must move on to drinking them, pair them with fish, aromatic cheeses, schnitzle, salads…there are so many great pairings. These are also wines known for pairing well with spicy foods like Thai! You will find riesling, pinot gris, muscadet and gewurztraminer lead the pack on varieties.

For more…

There are a few other varieties including Pinot Noir, but you are less likely to run into them.

Chablis

Chablis Premier Cru Mont de Milieu Simonnet-Febvre 2013 and Pôchouse
Chablis Premier Cru Mont de Milieu Simonnet-Febvre 2013 and Pôchouse

Chardonnay

This is Chardonnay land, but not those big buttery California Chardonnays that your Aunt might drink.  These are sharp and bright with great mineral quality! Pair with fish or chicken, oysters or other shellfish, mushrooms or cheese (think goat cheese or Comté). The sharp acid makes this great with creme sauces.

For more…

Burgundy (Bourgogne)

Vignoble de Bourgogne
Vignoble de Bourgogne

Chablis, above, is in Burgundy sitting 80 miles northwest of the rest of Burgundy.  Burgundy is known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir

The Côte de Nuits is the Northern part of the Côte d’Or and is the region that Pinot Noir calls home. It ventures further afield, but this is it’s homeland and you will find some of the most expensive Pinot Noirs on the planet, hail from here.

Pinot Noir is perfect for red wine with fish. It is the go to wine to pair with salmon. Many Pinot Noirs also have earthy notes and pair beautifully with mushrooms.

Chardonnay

The Côte de Beaune is dominated by Chardonnay. These are likely to be aged in oak. They will be richer and more buttery than those lean Chardonnays from Chablis, but they are still dry. Try this wine with pasta, chicken, risotto, shellfish or salt water fish and with cheeses like gruyere.

There is more to the region, the Côte Chalonnais and the Mâconnais, but we will leave those for another day.

For more…

Beaujolais

Gamay grapes in Beaujolais
Gamay grapes in Beaujolais

Just south of Burgundy you find Beaujolais.  This is a wine you will know better by the region name than by the grape, Gamay, that it is made from.  Beaujolais Nouveau is the first wine released each year on the third Thursday in November.  These early release wines are fresh and fruity, but the region does have other Gamay’s that are meant to be deeper and more age worthy.

Beaujolais Nouveau will be fruit forward and downright perky! Sometimes you will hear people say that they smell bubblegum or bananas in addition to raspberries and cranberry.

Aged Beaujolais might have notes of forest floor, mushroom, violet, tart cherry and smoke.

These are lighter wines and can pair across the spectrum from salmon to barbeque. Visit the Beaujolais site for a great graphic to assist with pairings for all the varied wines from this region.

The Rhone Valley

M.Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage vineyards in Tainl' Hermitage Rhone valley France
M.Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage vineyards in Tainl’ Hermitage Rhone valley France

I am a lover of Rhônes. Guaranteed…many of mine come from the Rhône Rangers that you find in California, and many of which were brought from Chateauneuf-de-Pape in the Southern Rhône.

The region is broken into the Northern and Southern Rhône. The Northern Rhône is the land of Syrah and Viognier and typically very pure and expensive versions of these.

Syrah

The Côte Rotie is known for some of the most amazing Syrah on the planet. I’ve heard it described as bacon and violets. Which sounds pretty amazing to me.

Viognier

Condrieu is well known for 100% Viognier. This white wine is full bodied and round with notes of apricot, pear and almonds.

There are other appellations like Crozes Hermitage above and Cornas, there is more to explore here, if you have the budget.

The Southern Rhone is warmer as it heads down the Rhone river to the Mediterranean and you will find blends of multiple varieties.  The famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape is here with blends of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre and more. Wines here lean toward blends.

Red Rhône Blends

These will have berry notes (think raspberry and black berry) baking spice, and maybe some garrigue (think underbrush), lavender, dried herbs. The more Mourvedre, the more likely you will have meaty notes to the wine.

These go well with mediterranean foods, like olives and red peppers, and herbs like rosemary or sage (or herbs de Provençe).

White Rhône Blends

Marsanne, Roussanne & Viognier make up the body of most white wines in this area. These blends are medium bodied and have notes of beeswax (I love that), as well as moderate citrus, like a meyer lemon, then stone fruits like peach and apricot.

Pair them with richer dishes with white meat (chicken or fish or even pork) and perhaps with fruits that are stewed or roasted. Dried apricots are a definite must on a cheese plate with these wines.

For more…

Bordeaux

Vignoble de Bordeaux
Vignoble de Bordeaux

If you have heard of any region in France other than Champagne, it will be Bordeaux. This is the region that Napa Valley wants to be. It is the big daddy of French wine with bottles that can be very pricey and many that need considerable aging. When people pull out dusty bottles from their wine cellar, typically they are Bordeaux wines.

Left Bank Reds (Cabernet Sauvignon based)

Red wines here are classified by which bank of the river the vineyards sit on. Left bank wines are west of the river in Médoc and Graves. The reds here are Cabernet Sauvignon based.

Right Bank Reds (Merlot driven)

The Right bank wines are on the other side of the river in the Libournais. These wines are Merlot driven. The Entre-deux-mers, the area in the middle between the two, has much more fertile soil producing less concentrated (but more affordable) wines.

The bold reds of Bordeaux are perfect with rich meaty dishes, like a big steak.

Sweet wines of Sauternes

Down in Graves you find the region of Sauternes. These are my friend Corinne’s favorite wines. These are sweet wines made from grapes with “Noble rot”. The botrytis fungus takes hold of the grape and dries them out considerably. They are pressed into tiny amounts of wine that when fermented becomes sweet and delicious. These are wines to pair with bleu cheese or with desserts.

For more…

Provence

Emotion, Urban Provençe and Inspiration rosé from Provençe
Emotion, Urban Provençe and Inspiration. Emotion and Inspiration come from Château de Berne and Urban Provençe is from Ultimate Provençe

Rosé

This is Rosê country, more than 1/2 the output of wine from this region is rosé. The mistral wind that whips down from the mountains keeping the vines in this Mediterannean region dry and free from disease. The landscape is dotted with lavender fields. It’s pretty dreamy.

In addition to those delicate ballet slipper pink rosés you will find Bandol, which is a rich red wine from Mourvedre.

Pair pink with pink. It’s delicious and pretty. Smoked salmon, ham, prosciutto, crab, lobster….you get the picture.

Yes…these wines are great in the summer. Their high acid and bright flavors are perfect to help you cool down on a hot day. But don’t overlook them at other times.

For more…

Other regions

Is there more to French Wine?  Why yes…so much more, there is the island of Corsica, the black wines of Cahors, Picpoul de Pinet from Languedoc-Rousillon…and then there are the wines that I have yet to discover!

Oh and did I mention Crémant? That would be sparkling wine from any region outside of Champagne! You want bubbles and value? It’s your go to!

Dive deep into the links and the links in the links and take a little vacay to France sans airfare!

For more…

More from the Winophiles!

There are so many ways to dive into French Wine, I have only scratched the surface. Why not check out the other #Winophiles and their approaches to the subject! You can join us for the conversation on Twitter on Saturday Morning January 18th (8 am PST, 11 am EST) by following the hashtag #Winophiles!

Remember I said I would include more about those potential tariffs.

As always be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date on all of our posts.