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France: How to enjoy wine tasting on the cheap

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Wine Tasting
Wine tasting in France. Photo: fs999

If you’re something like us, then you definitely love the style (and value!) of wine whenever you’re touring in Europe. And it doesn’t get extra French than sipping wine or Champagne on a café terrace wherever in France or buying a bottle out of your favourite wine store in Paris.

For those that need to be taught a bit bit extra about what’s of their glass, nevertheless, you needn’t look far, nor do you have to rack up an enormous invoice in doing so.

Skip the fancy excursions and do what the French vacationer do, heading instantly to the supply of the wine, whether or not it’s purple, white, or bubbly.

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From the vineyards of Bordeaux to the Champagne cellars round Epernay, it’s simple to expertise the native wares in a singular means on your subsequent journey to France.

AR Lenoble

AR Lenoble Champagne has been open since 1920. Photo: Facebook


Sparkling white wine made wherever else can’t dare name itself Champagne, and on a go to to a cellar someplace in the area, east of Paris, you’ll be taught why. The large homes like Pommery and Veuve-Clicquot provide commonplace visits and tastings, accessible instantly from the practice station in Reims.

For one thing much more particular, there are smaller homes on the market that you may want to discover.

Consider supporting family-run, unbiased Champagne makers like AR Lenoble who provide beneficiant tastings and pairings of their middle simply exterior Epernay, although you’ll want a automotive to get there! Tastings begin round €35 — an excellent deal contemplating how expensive Champagne could be, and the way good AR Lenoble’s is!

A winery in Bordeaux. Photo: Lizandro


It’s maybe the most well-known wine exterior of France, however past the identify, what do you really learn about it? Is a Bordeaux Supérieur higher than a Médoc or a St-Emilion? So many questions!

Travel to this southwestern France metropolis and also you’ll notice that there are not any vineyards to be seen inside strolling distance, and the concept of renting a car and driving out to go to them is doable, however not the least expensive possibility.

Fortunately, the tourism workplace affords trips to the vineyards and chateaus to be taught all about it, with the most reasonably priced beginning at €42 for a bus journey and a half-day tour to two properties, all in French and English.

It might seem to be a touristy factor to do, but it surely’s considered one of the finest methods to get on the market and be taught a bit en route. You might at all times attend the annual Marathon du Médoc if you happen to really need to expertise Bordeaux’s finest wines whereas on the run, however that’s one other stage of dedication that you just won’t be prepared for but.

Related: Our favorite chap hotels in Bordeaux | Visiting Bordeaux on a budget

Wine Cellar Loire

A wine cellar in the Loire Valley. Photo: Alyse

Loire Valley

More recognized for its castles than its wine, the Loire Valley, simply southwest of Paris, produces a few of France’s most beloved wines like Chinon and Touraine. Many small producers in the space throw their doorways huge open to vacationers who need to go to and be taught extra about their vintages.

The office of tourism has an excellent useful resource for guests — some translation wanted on the website, sorry! You can reserve tastings, together with pairings with cheeses, for mere euros. Try a wine you might have by no means tasted, like Vouvray, which additionally is available in a glowing model that rivals Champagne!

Burgundy Vineyard

A picturesque winery in Burgundy. Photo: Aapo


Burgundy wines are recognized to be refined reds, however there are whites to uncover as effectively! The Bourgogne region, southeast of Paris, boasts a few of France’s most sought-after wines, and a go to to native vineyards between the cities of Dijon and Beaune are value a stopover for any wine-lover.

Adventurous cheapos may need to hop the bus 113 that, for simply €1.50, travels between cities with winemakers together with Gevrey-Chambertin, Vosne-Romanée, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Ladoix-Serrigny, and Aloxe-Corton. A bit planning will go a good distance to style the better of Burgundy in these cities.

Otherwise, cease into Beaune and comply with the office of tourism’s menu of native wine tastings the place some are just some euros.


Wine tasting in Côtes-du-Rhône. Photo: Thor


The identify won’t be immediately acquainted, however this area round Lyon is fashionable for its Beaujolais, the first wine of the season that has grow to be one thing of a advertising software. Heard of that one, proper? Still, the area produces many unbelievable reds, and the workplace of tourism gives all the choices on their website.

Some visits and tastings are even free — but it surely’ll be onerous not to depart with a bottle or two. These winemakers know what they’re doing! Don’t really feel obligated, however at the similar time, going dwelling with a bottle of something, straight from its manufacturing website, offers you a greater story to inform than simply selecting up some nameless bottle in a grocery store!

Your wine tasting suggestions

Have you visited any wineries in France? Let us know the place you go to sip your favourite wines.

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