Wine in France & What I’m Drinking

One of the reasons I’ve long-dreamt of moving to France was the sheer abundance of wine. Wine is truly part of everyday life here and inherent in the culture. Many French people grow up having little tastes of wine here and there at family dinners well before they reach the legal drinking age of 18 (it’s not uncommon to have a little cup of watered-down wine at the kids table). Wine is not just seen as alcohol, it has a culture and ritual of its own that’s celebrated by the French people, as seen in the countless wine expositions that happen every year. Many young people understand the different wine growing regions of their country and can differentiate between a Saint-Émilion and a Beaujolais. It’s not because they studied wine or went to school for it, but because they grow up surrounded by it and understanding it.

Wine is ingrained in the country’s history. During the Roman Empire, the Romans produced wine here. Even in the darkest and most trying times, like war and famine, wine was made. Many of the vineyards in France are still family owned today after many generations. This is why you can find many domaines in Burgundy named “(Last Name) Père & Fils” (father and son).

Now you can understand why wine can be found literally everywhere in France, and most of it is good wine. Most of the glasses of wine at a Parisian café are even less than a café crème. You can bet that that €4,90 glass of wine on a sunny Paris terrace is going to be much more delicious than the 2-buck chuck you’re used to (I still love you Trader Joe’s). You might not get to see the label and it’s probably nothing fancy, but in general it’s great. Unlike in Napa Valley or New York City, you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy an incredible bottle of French wine. Here in France, you can find great Burgundy for around €30/bottle that would likely sell for at least $75 in the US, Not to mention, exported wine has also endured many hours of transportation in ships and hot trucks.

That said, I am making it my mission to discover one great bottle of wine under €30/week during my time in France. In this weekly series that will be subscription-only, I will discuss the wines I discover, share the story about where I enjoyed it and also give a little update on living the Parisian life. I hope you enjoy!

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