Top 75 French Wines to Try Before You Quit Drinking (a non-dump bucket list if you will!)

If you are a wine lover, wine connoisseur, wine aficionado or even if you just like to have a couple of glasses on a Friday night, it soon becomes obvious that there are some wines that are held in a higher esteem in the wine world.  Sometimes, it is because these wines are very rare.  Other times, it’s because the wine has a place in history.   Sometimes it’s because the wine is just that good.  Here is a list of 75 wines from France that make up that category.  A few caveats.  I have not tried every wine on this list.  Some I have and others I hope to.  Many of these wines are rare and hard to find.  That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be on the list.  After all, if the opportunity presents itself, go for it. 

Languedoc, France Vintage Chart

Languedoc, France    
2009 93 D/H
2008 89 D/H

All Rosés Lead to Southern France

It’s hot. The Fourth of July witnessed blistering temperatures around California, and this time the Bay Area was no exception. In my last column, I bemoaned the cool temperatures that typically beset the San Francisco metropolitan area in June and July and used the unseasonable chill as an excuse to explore one of the heavier wine regions of France, the syrah-saturated Northern Rhône. But our recent string of 75-plus-and-sunny days shows my pessimism to be ill-advised.

Banyuls: A Little French Love Letter to Chocolate

It is a warm night in the month of May. Everything that has come out of the kitchen to your table seems to be shouting at the top of its lungs that it is spring. The baby lettuces with strawberries and marcona almonds, the fava bean raviolis, the hamachi skewers with avocado and pomelo. The gruner veltliner you ordered has paired up famously with these items, and the bottle of frappato that succeeded it has also proven itself an amiable companion to both the pork tenderloin with asparagus and pea tendrils with gnocchi and romesco, and the pan- roasted halibut with arancini in a green garlic sauce.

Rethinking The Languedoc-Roussillon: The Amazing History, Magic & Value of Southern France

I’m walking through a valley filled with wild herbs—rosemary, thyme, lavender and artemisia. Off in the distance, I can see a hill-side vineyard bursting with grapes and an ancient stone house. Next to the house, I notice people congregated near an old barn. I walk closer. When I arrive, a glass of wine is placed in my hand. I inhale and the aroma of the valley fills my senses. Then, I smile and take a sip. Deep, dark fruit quickly coats my palate. I look to the madame pouring the wine. “Welcome to the Languedoc,” she says. “We've been waiting for you.”

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