According to King Henri IV “Good food and good wine are heaven on earth.” French wine is certainly known for its quality, but why are the French so renowned for their wines? And where can you buy good French wines in Melbourne?
Why are French Wines so special?
While wine didn’t originate in France, the French have developed a reputation for being masters at producing and enjoying it. Think of a type of wine, and you’ll probably come up with something French: sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, malbec, cabernet blanc. In fact, nearly all international strains of wine grape used and sold around the world today originated in France. French monks, during the Middle Ages, first began to refine the tastes of wine, developing different qualities and tastes. It was these monks who later discovered the effect that the soil or ‘terroir’ can have on the taste of the wine. Through experimentation, these monks created that famous sparkling wine from the region of Champagne.
Wine is still big business in France today. French producers bottle around 8 billion bottles a year for local consumption and export. This means that luckily it’s easy to get your hands on. Just be careful when asking your French friends for a “French wine”! In France, wines are better known by their region, with each having its own individual nuances and characteristics. For example, if you like your sparkling whites, then the obvious choice is something from Champagne. If you prefer rosés, your best bet is something from the south in Provence. For something bolder, you can’t go wrong with a strong red from the Bordeaux region.
Now you know that French wine is considered the best for a reason, you need to know where to get the good stuff! Luckily, there are many places to try French wines in Melbourne.
French Wines in Melbourne
Let’s start with Marion Bar on Gertrude Street. It boasts an impressive list of hundreds of local and international wines featuring Champagne, Bordeaux, and Burgandy. You can even pair your choice with a selection of seasonal sharing dishes and cheeses.
Next is Cloudwine, a unique wine specialist with a vast array of local Aussie and international wines that won’t be found in your average wine store. It is certainly a must-stop to get French Wine in Melborune. Despite its size, it delivers an excellent range of wines from small wineries, including some delightful French rosés. The friendly staff will only be too happy to help you make the right choice.
Want to take your French wine appreciation to the next level? Subscribe to “Le Club“, a wine subscription service dedicated to sampling some of the best France has to offer. They’ll deliver the wines to your door accompanied by detailed tasting notes and matching recipes from some of Australia’s top chefs.
Finally, you could see how the French makes their wines first hand by visiting a local winery owned and operated by Dominique Portet. Set amongst the beautiful rolling vineyards of the Yarra Valley, Dominique Portet offers you the opportunity to drink Australian wine made the French way! Experience the private tour and tasting where you can try their exquisite sparkling rose. If you are curious about the Portet vineyard, you can watch the Bastille Day festival’s short film.
With all the options to try real French wines Melbourne has to offer, you have no excuse for not sampling the wares of the world’s foremost producers. After all, as the saying goes, ‘life is too short to drink bad wine’. If you want to learn more about French wine, join our online masterclass: Caudalie, A Guided Online Wine Tasting!