Wine | French Wine That the Locals Enjoy
If you’ve ever spent time in France, one thing always stands out, the “House Wines” at restaurants are always good. They seem to pair nicely with just about everything on the menu and are very easy on the wallet.
After returning home, many wine drinkers try to sleuth out a similar, nicely priced, domestically available wine that will duplicate the memories of the French experience. This often results in disappointment, probably because many of the local favorites are consumed before they can be exported!
So, when you get good and frustrated after buying your 3rd bottle of French wine that tastes like sour grapes and dishwater, it’s time to go online for a buy. Some of the most palate-pleasing French wines come from online sources and there is a wide variety from France’s Southern Rhone region. Most are bold but with a nice balance of fruit, acidity, and tannins. The best picks are simply enjoyable, with some tasting just like the nice House Wine that you remember so well.
One thing to look for are blends of Grenache, Syrah, various other varietals in lesser proportions. The Southern Rhone region uses these blends extensively with fabulous results. When online, look for descriptions like “versatility, fruit-forward, freshness, and concentration”.
An excellent well-priced brand is “Les Dauphins”. Their wines typically exhibit a muted “wet” bouquet of dark cherries, spices (vanilla, tobacco, & clove) and an earthy component that ranges from dust to leather. When consumed with cuisine, their flavors open up with soft fruit along with various degrees of acidity that can be selected according to your liking.
If you can find these for around $10-$20 or so a bottle (sometimes less), it is a good buy and they generally load them on the truck the next day. Hey, everyone should have access to a good French House Wine for those times when the bottle needs to casual, reliable, and pleasing to the crowd.
Chill in the fridge for about 30-50 minutes before serving (60-65 degrees). The famous Rhone wet bouquet comes out well with a slight chill.