France is famous for wines and justifiably so but the most famous French wines can be staggeringly expensive. If your budget does not stretch to the top wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux, there are still plenty of very drinkable wines, even at the bottom end of the price scale.
The best place to taste and buy wines is in the vineyards and the best way to tour and taste is in a motorhome. With the “France Passion” scheme (to which we provide free membership) you can even stay in many vineyards overnight for free. All French wine regions are gorgeous and interesting places to explore with rich history and their own character so if you are looking for a focus for your trip, exploring wine regions is a great start.
If your trip does not allow you time to trickle through a wine region or two to find the bargains, all the supermarkets should provide good examples of our top ten budget wines too so you are never far from a great value French wine if you are in one of our campervans in France.
Our top ten budget wines are very inexpensive but if you have a slightly better budget there are wines at every price from those listed here to hundreds or even thousands per bottle. Experimenting is great fun and pretty much everyone that tours France finds a new favourite wine as they discover the many wines of this lovely country. Here are our budget priced suggestions:-
Picpoul de Pinet
White wine made from the Picpoul grape in the Languedoc, from as little as €3.75 per bottle.
White wine made from Sauvignon Blanc in The Loire Valley, from as little as €3 per bottle.
Crémant de Bourgogne
White sparkling wine which can be made from any of these grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay. Good ones are every bit as good as Champagne, just made in neighbouring Burgundy so it cannot be called Champagne! From as little as €5.95 per bottle.
White and Rosé sparkling wine which can be made from Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. Again these sparkling wines can be a match for Champagne but cannot be called by that name and don’t therefore suffer from the inflated price. From as little as €4.75 per bottle.
Red wine from the Rhone region. Can be made using all of these grape varieties: Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, and Carignan. From as little as little as €2.95 per bottle (better to spend a little more if you can!).
Red wine from the Languedoc region. Can be made using all of these grape varieties: Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. From as little as €3.95 per bottle.
Red wine from the Languedoc. Can be made from a huge list of different grapes but the main varieties are: Grenache, Lledoner Pelut, Mourvèdre and Syrah. From as little as €3.50 per bottle.
Rosé de la Loire
Rosé wine from The Loire Valley. Can be made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grolleau, Pineau d’Aunis, Gamay and Côt. From as little as €2.95 per bottle.
IGP or “Indication Géographique Protégée” is a new classification designed to simplify the old and very complicated wine classification system here in France. Wines are still produced under a set of rules, unique to each area but the rules have been relaxed and many think this is improving the quality and variety of wines from some regions. There will doubtless be very good and very bad wines carrying the IGP classification but there is no doubt that the good ones represent great value for money. Here are three that we have been enjoying, typically from less than €3 per bottle.
White: Indication Géographique Protégée Atlantique, Sauvignon.
Red: Indication Géographique Protégée Atlantique, Merlot.
Rosé: Indication Géographique Protégée Pays D’Oc – Syrah.
Set your own budget and come and discover the wines of France or stay well within a beer budget and give our suggestions a try.