Best Alternative French Wines

France is wine’s spiritual home. Prestige and renown can pump up prices, but it still has a hoard of hidden gems which remain bafflingly underrated. Wine that has fallen from fashion is where I love to look. Muscadet is a prime example – quality and value are superb at the moment. Try buying from nearby the famous names, or look for lesser-known places to get the real steals, such as Aldi’s rosé from Ventoux.

Specially Selected Ventoux Rosé 2021 (13%), £6.99, Aldi. You have to buy this! Think Provence plus – with more flavour and bang for your buck.

Paul May Héritage Clairette 2020 (12.5%), £9, Sainsbury’s. The barbecue wine of this summer, textural with pineapple zing, it’s delicious.

Domaine de L’Idylle Cruet Alpine Jacquère 2021 (11%), £13.75, Like a mountain carved from grapefruit peel with lemony glaciers.

Château du Moulin-à-Vent 2018 (13%), £17.50, Old vines give this Gamay great heart. Lively, ripe and firm, this is perfect to pair with fillet steak.

This article was originally published in YOU Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 29th May 2022 – Prices, stockists and vintages correct at time of publication.

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