Site Archives France

Garnacha/Grenache - an Introduction


The same grape but two different names.
In Spain this red variety is Garnacha. It is the most widely cultivated grape in Spain where it is easy to grow and supplies producers with good yields. Often used in blends as its body, fruitiness and inherent ‘meatiness’ make it a great partner. Rioja is a blend of […]

Chateau Lascombes 1999 Margaux


I’ve been saving this bottle for a special occasion but every time I’ve looked at my wine rack, I’ve seen it hiding in the corner and been tempted just to open and savour it. It’s not often I get a good Bordeaux to try as they are the kind of money I don’t usually spend […]

Earth-Friendly Wine


Yes, believe it or not, there is such a thing, though I’ll admit, it was news to me.  French Rabbit’s Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay are made from grapes that are grown on sustainably farmed vineyards in Southern France. 
The wine comes in lightweight, recyclable containers that create a staggering 90% less waste than […]

Top Rosés From a Vin De Pays Tasting


In the UK a trade paper organises a most excellent competition to discover the top 100 Vin De Pays wines. Judged by some of the most familar names in the UK-wine journo field some 1,115 wines were submitted to this years tasting. The winners included a section for rosés; with the following results:
Best Rosé of […]

Making Champagne Pink


I hate the term “pink Champagne,” because pink is a fluffy, fun color and to me, Champagne — for all its festive overtones — represents serious sipping.
“Champagne rosé“  sounds much more sophisticated and is, of course, the only true form of  “pink champagne.”  Accept no imitations.
Yet there are, unfortunately, other ways to make champagne pink. One that […]

WBW #33 Languedoc-Roussillon, Mid Priced Wines From The Midi


Soaring aromas of ripe dark fruit escaped the bottle as I uncorked this 2003 Corbieres CastelMavre Grande Cuvee Red Wine.  This wine is produced in one of the largest wine appellations in the Midi, Corbieres.  Being French, it was hard to find the “exact” grape content of the wine.  But, in researching the area, I […]

Sémillon – A Great Grape For Dessert Wines


Sémillon is a golden skinned grape used to make dessert wines in both Australia and France.  Sémillon is the major white grape in Bordeaux, Graves, and Sauternes, France.  In Bordeaux, France Sémillon is frequently blended with Sauvignon Blanc and Muscatdelle.  The most famous and expensive wines that are made from Sémillon come from Sauternes and […]

Semillon Synonyms


Writing a blog post generally leads me to obscure tidbits of knowledge — usually not the knowledge that I was originally looking for. That ’s how researching the use of semillon in French wines — Sauternes, Bergerac, Loupiac, blah, blah, blah — got me plunged into the fascinating world of wine variety synonyms.
The French language […]

New: Champagne Gosset Blanc de Blanc Extra Brut


Champagne Gosset has released the latest addition to its Celebris range – a Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut.  
To produce Cuvée Celebris Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, the cellar master Jean-Pierre Mareigner has chosen the Chardonnay from four vintages, 11 crus and used only the ‘finest methods of vinification’.  True to the character of Champagne Gosset, […]

Santé! Wine Job Offers Up in France


France’s number one wine job board, Vitijob, has reported a sharp increase in the number of offers over the past year. “Optimism is coming back” to the French wine market, promises Vinimarket in an April 6th news brief (link in French.)
Vinimarket reports that the number of jobs available on the wine recruitment site is up 70% for the first quarter of […]