Revolutionary revelry: Bastille Day bottles
July 14th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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Ah, Bastille Day, how to celebrate it? One could, of course, go storm a Paris prison full of political prisoners, but there are so few of those left these days. Besides, plane flights to Paris are really expensive right now. Better to buy a baguette and some stinky cheese, open a bottle of French vin, and start singing La Marseillaise.

To get you in the proper Parisian spirit, here are five fine bottles from five different French wine regions to check out.

Five Wines for Bastille Day

2010 HB Picpoul de Pinet ($10)
Crisp, zesty, excellent summertime white. Picpoul is a grape variety found in southern France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region. If I had a veranda that overlooked the seaside, I’d be drinking this wine; even in a hot apartment in New York City, it’s pretty darn tasty.

2007 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge ($12)
From the Rhône Valley, this red has fragrant cherry notes, juicy richness and some nice peppery spice that if you think really, really hard and are somewhat delusional will remind you of musket-fire in the 1780s.

2010 Bieler Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé ($13)
Provence is such a dreamy place. It’s a fair bet that even when Parisians were storming the Bastille, the Provençal folk were sitting around sipping bright, refreshing rosés like this one, wondering what all the fuss was about.

2007 Château Greysac ($14)

Bordeaux does not have to be super expensive to be good, as this charming red proves. It’s a blend of the usual Bordeaux suspects: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, and like most affordable Bordeaux, better with food than not.

NV Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace ($18)
Any actual Champagne is going to run you $35 or so. For half the price, this graceful sparkling wine from Alsace, made from the Pinot Blanc grape variety, is an excellent alternative.

More from Food & Wine

French Pairings

Julia Child’s Easy French Food

10 Fast French Dishes

Beautiful French Desserts

The French Masters’ Recipes

© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Filed under: Bastille Day • Bite • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Holidays • Sip • Wine

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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. MA

    @DYBO – Clearly you have nothing of value to add to this discussion about French wines. Why did you bother commenting? There are great French wines – most sent to North America are not worthwhile. You need spend more to get better quality for sure!

    July 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • gsperson

      Clearly you MA also have said little worth note. So why did you bother commenting? OH! It must be that you feel your opinions superior to others. Guess again.

      August 7, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
  2. DYBO

    I purchase nothing that has any connection with the French or even shares the name such as French vanilla ice cream or even French fries. It is a personal thing going back to WW II.

    July 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Chris

      With an article related to France on a american web site I was expecting a racist comment in the first 10 comments. But they probably do the same thing in France about american.

      July 14, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Gimp

      Moron. Imbecile. Idiot. Three lovely French words which aptly convey your ignorance.

      July 15, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • gremlin

      Why does everyone get down on the French for part of the country collaborating during WWII. Many other countries collaborated, and none of them helped us during the revolutionary war. France has always been one of our best allies.

      July 15, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Mike

      France bashing was the mark of an imbecile back in 2003 (which I'll bet is when you really started), and it's even more so now.

      July 17, 2011 at 2:59 am |
  3. john

    I just picked up the finest "Mad Dog 20/20" aged 2011. Quite a treat and better than France itself!

    July 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  4. David

    I am one of those "styupid Uhmerichons" that has to drink the entire bottle once it's been opened. I love wine. Red only, please. One of these days, I want to go tour France and Italy and only go to small time joints to eat, get full of great food, and then OD on great wines from the areas traveled. Can't help myself. Something about those two places, their foods and their wines makes me wanna just relax and not return home, so to speak. State of mind type of not return home. Can't really leave home. My ankle bracelet is too tight, but one day, Frenchies..

    July 14, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  5. Olaf Big

    Have not tried these, but most of French wine exported to North America is not a good value. Anything in $15-40 range is likely to be bland and overpriced, and above that just plain overpriced. Spanish and portuguese reds are less expensive and much more interesting. Alsatian bubblies are one notable exception to this rule.

    July 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Jirka klet

      I agree with you 100%. French wines under $50 are very poor, you can get much better value with Chilean, South African, Californian, etc. It's not to say that French wines are not interesting, it;s just that you have to be prepared to pay a hefty amount if you want to sample what the French can in France.

      July 14, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  6. RedinAustin

    I have had several great dry rosé's from Tavel and none of them were more than $15. Highly recommend.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
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