The Very Best French Wine Bargains
Let's get started down the road
Fill your Booots ...car boots that is with French Wine
French Supermarkets are some of the best places to buy French wine from all price ranges, from Vin de Table to Chateau bottled grande Cru and everything in between. It makes sense to compare all the ferry prices, not forgetting Euro tunnel, as there are plenty of good offers around. It pays to plan a special wine buying trip, as opposed to trying to fit a case or two in the boot when returning from holiday.
What about the weight?
You may ask how much wine will fit safely in my car- the answer depends on the size of your car! Most Supermarket wines are packed 6 to a cardboard box. A Hatchback will take between 35 - 40 boxes, (assuming just 2 people travelling and also the rear seats folded down) an estate will take around 60 boxes, while a van will take many more.The weight of the loaded vehicle must be taken into consideration as a safety measure. Look in your vehicle handbook under PAYLOAD (gross weight less kerb weight) Cars or vans that look overloaded may attract the attention of the police, and they would stop you, not ideal when you have a ferry to catch!
How much will all this wine weigh?
A cardboard box of 6 x 75cl bottles of still wine will weigh between 8 or 9 kilos. Now if you also bring sparkling wine, those 6 bottles will weigh around 11 kilos. Of course you could opt for 3 litre Wine boxes or the 5 litre.brown plastic mini-barrels or even the 1 /1.5 litre plastic bottles which would be lighter in weight. For your peace of mind, why not take your bathroom scales along so you can weigh them yourself..
Because import duty charged in England is on volume and not value, the cheaper French wines are the best value. Whether you and your passenger are just buying your yearly stock of wine ,or for your Christmas / New Year party, a wedding or other special event, considerable savings can be made. Before you go, remember to make a note of the prices charged by your favourite off-license and local Supermarkets.
Which are your favourites?
We all have our favourite wines - Red, White and Sparkling. here is a list of some of mine:-
White Burgundy - made from the Chardonnay grape. Red Burgundy - made from the Pinot Noir grape.
Red Bordeaux (Claret)- blended from several grape varieties.
The Northern Rhone wines - made from the Syrah grape.
Champagne - generally made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and PinotMeunier grapes.
A lot of wine is now sold under the name of the grape that it's made from, some examples are : Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadet, Gros Plant, Gewurtztraminer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Beaujolaise, Merlot and Gamay.
How long will my wine keep for?
Vin de Table - drink within 6 months
Vin de Pays -drink within 1 year
Appellation Controllee - the quality varies so it's difficult to say
Vin Mousseux (Sparkling Wine) and Champagne - may improve with keeping 1 year
Light dry Wines - drink within 2 years
Light Reds (Beaujolais) drink within 6months - 1 year.
Vin Rosé -drink within the year
Medium Dry & Spicy - drink cheaper ones within the year the more expensive ones will keep for up to 5 years.
Medium Reds - Keep well for more than 4 years.
Full bodied reds - rich in tannin, improve with keeping between 5 and 10 years depending on the quality.
Recommended varieties to drink young
A selection of white wines.
Sparkling Vouvray, Muscadet-Sevre et Maine (sur lie is the best), Sancerre, Pouilly Fume, Sauvignon Blanc, Gros Plant.
And from the Reds -Bouches de Rhone, Bergerac, Corbieres, Herault, Côtes de Rhone, Beaujolais, Jardin de France.
All the Rosé Wine . Party wine, made to be drunk young
Now the Medium Dry Spicy wines of Alsace - Edelswicker, Gewurtraminer, Muscat, Reisling and Sylvaner.
The Sweet Whites or Pudding wines (always a deeper colour than dry - usually have Moelleux written on the label).My personal choices would be, Coteaux de Layon, Monbazillac, Vouvray Moelleux, Pineau de Charentes and Rivesaltes (which is also available in Red)
Last but by no means least, the best wines to savour on that very special occasion are the Full Bodied reds, like Cahors, Chateauneuf du Pape, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, Haut Medoc, Côtes du Roussillon and Minervois.
And also the Classic Whites like Chablais and Graves, not forgetting Champagne.
If you still have some space left, why not take some Spirits? Some Classic French Calvados (Apple brandy), or Pastis (aniseed flavoured like Pernod), or Cognac. Don't forget the Vermouths (lots of choice here) and other Fruit Liqueurs - from Kirsch to Cassis and everything in between, there is a vast choice, so many more than in the usual English Supermarket.
Where to buy my Wine ?
The main French Supermarkets (and the much larger Hypermarkets) are many and varied. In Northern France you will always find LIDL - excellent for cheaper wines around £1 a bottle- but choice is rather limited, although the better wines are generally on special offer during December.
Intermarché, Super U, Hyper U, Le Clerc and Carrefour all have good offers, often they offer "Buy one get one Free" on selected boxes of wine (usually Chateau bottled) A good idea is to regularly check out their websites for up and coming Fêtes de Vin - (Festival of Wine)
I wish you all happy shopping and Bon Route!
More of my Hubs
- My 10 best Oyster recipes
Can you imagine being the first person to try an oyster? I expect they must have been on the point of starvation to even contemplate eating one. What a wonderful surprise they must have had when they tasted...
- Help !! I need to lose 25 kilos
Yum ! Hi, I'm Kathy. I have been a yo-yo dieter all my adult life. I have tried dozens of diets over the past 20 years, and the reason I'm writing this is to share my successes and failures with you. I...
- How to Lose 25 Kilos ( My Diet Diary)
This hub is a follow on of my previous hub HELP!! I need to lose 25 KIlos. And will track my progress. I spent a couple of days shopping for some
- Motorhome Camping in France -- on a Budget
Did you know that France is the most Camper friendly country in Europe? And if you want a fantastic holiday that will cost you very little, look no further. Throughout the whole France there are more than...
- Discover Normandy by Motorhome
Normandy is divided into 5 separate departments, each with its own unique character. They are as follows; The Manch, Calvados, The Orne, The Eure and Seine Maratime. The Normandy's 600 km coastline...
- Discover the Western Loire Valley by Motorhome
Stating in Nantes, very much a river city, as it includes two channels of the Loire, three of it's tributaries and a canal! It's not immediately attractive, having suffered greatly during the second World...
- Discover the Eastern Loire Valley by Motorhome
We start our holiday in Blois, home to the famous Chocolatire Poulain, whose chocolate factory was founded in 1848, and yes we are going to take the tour! But first we have to find a parking place for this...
- Discover Brittany France.. An Enchanting Paradise
First the distances involved Great Britain London-Rennes : 753 km London-Paris : 402 km Eire Dublin - Paris: 887 km Dublin - Rennes: 1239km BY CAR At only 3 hours from Paris, Brittany has the...
- Oradour-sur-Glane - The Martyred Village
On the 10th June 1944, the Nazi SS murdered 642 inhabitants, men, women, and children in this quiet little village. Only 2 of the original inhabitants are still alive.
- Best European Festivals in 2010 - February to July
Throughout Europe there are many Carnivals, the most popular is the one held in Venice, Italy each year. This year it will be held from the 6th to the 16th February. The venue is the Place San Marco, which...
- Best European Festivals in 2010 - August and Septemb...
The town of Cowes on the Isle of Wight, England, plays host to Cowes Week from the 31st July to 7th August.This is the longest running regular regatta in the world. The event started in 1826, and is always...
- Best European Winter Festivals in 2010 - October t...
One seaside resort stays open at the end of the Summer season for a spectacular event. The town is Blackpool, on the Fylde Coast, Lancashire, England and the event is the Blackpool Illuminations. The dates...