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A Guide to French Wine

A Guide to French Wine

It’s almost impossible to think about France without thinking about wine. France has long been recognised as one of the leading producers of wine in the world - and with good reason, as the country produces between 7-8 billion bottles of wine each year! Tourists from around the world flock to France to sample the wines and visit the beautiful vineyards. 

Whilst visiting France may not be possible for the time being, DrinkWell can help you bring a bit of French elegance to your own front room, thanks to our fabulous collection of lower-calorie French wines. In this blog, we will explore French wines, and introduce you to some of the French wines we currently have available. 

French White Wine 

Thanks to the variable climates found across the country, France is able to grow a wide range of grapes to produce a large number of different styles of white wines. These include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Muscat, Melon de Bourgogne, Viogner, Riesling, and Pinot Grigio - so the French really do cater for everyone's taste! The most popular among UK drinkers are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, so let’s have a look at these two in more detail.

Sauvignon Blanc 

France is well known for it’s Sauvignon Blancs that arguably provide stiff competition for those made in other popular Sauvignon regions such as Marlborough and California. The majority of French Sauvignon Blancs are produced in the Loire Valley region, which is situated in the heart of France and is famous for its natural beauty and great wine. Of the 123,000ha of Sauvignon Blanc planted throughout the world, around 10,0000ha are planted in the Loire Valley!

Sauvignon Blancs produced in the Loire Valley can be identified by their smoky and mineral-like quality. Regions within the Loire Valley that produce good Sauvignon Blancs include Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé, Menetou-Salon, Cheverny, and Touraine. Sauvignon Blancs are not the only wines you will find from Loire Valley, as it is France's most diverse wine region, producing exemplary wines in every style.

Chardonnay

As it is perhaps more commonly associated with California or Australia, many wine drinkers are surprised to learn that Chardonnay actually originated in the Burgundy region of eastern France. In fact, Chardonnay is the second-most widely planted white grape variety in France,  just behind Ugni blanc and ahead of Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc. 

However, Chardonnay wines produced in France don't tend to go by the ‘Chardonnay’ name, which can be a little confusing. Instead, they are more commonly named after their region of origin. For example, wines produced using Chardonnay grapes in the Burgundy region are called ‘White Burgundy’ wines. 

White Burgundy wines are arguably the gold standard of Chardonnay wines, thanks to the perfect Chardonnay-growing climate and land conditions in the region. There are 4 White Burgundy producing areas within the region, each producing wines with their own distinct characteristics.  These are Bourgogne Blanc, Chablis, Mâconnais and  Côte de Beaune:

Lower calorie French White Wines available at DrinkWell 

If all this talk of high-quality, delicious French white wines has made you crave a bottle yourself, you are in the right place. DrinkWell have a large selection of the very best lower calorie and lower carb French white wines available to purchase - below are some you’ll find on our website at the moment. 

Gérard Bertrand 'Naturalys', Pays d'Oc, Chardonnay 2019

From the stunning landscapes of the South of France, the creators of this beautiful lower calorie Chardonnay are committed to organic and sustainable practices. This commitment has been recognised with the ECOCERT certification, guaranteeing organic production, environmentally-friendly packaging and a low carbon footprint. Not only this, but this wine only contains 83 calories per 125ml, making it a truly guilt-free reduced calorie wine. You can purchase a bottle for £13.99 from the DrinkWell website. 

Domaine Francois Cartier Touraine Sauvignon Blanc

Domaine François Cartier Touraine is a classic French Sauvignon Blanc from the Cher Valley, which is close to Tours in the Loire Valley. The subtle grapefruit flavour intertwined with citrus, makes this lower calorie Sauvignon Blanc an excellent pairing for grilled fish or roast chicken. In one 125ml glass of this reduced calorie wine, you will find 90 calories and 2g of sugar. Whilst being lower in calories, this wine absolutely does not sacrifice in flavour - why not pick up a bottle from the DrinkWell website for £15.99 and see for yourself!

La Ruchette Doree Cotes du Rhones Blanc

This delicious lower calorie and low sugar white wine comes from the Rhône region of south-east France. This classic vegan-friendly Côtes du Rhône Blanc contains 91 calories per 125ml, alongside just 1g of sugar. 

With its nuanced and refined flavours, this one is perfect to enjoy on a warm summer's evening with light starters or a fish dish. You can order yourself a bottle from the DrinkWell website for £11.99.

French Red Wine 

If you are a fan of red wines, chances are you will have at some point had a red Bordeaux wine. Undoubtedly one of the most famous wine regions in the world, Bordeaux is situated in the South West of France. Bordeaux is blessed with an unrivalled environment  for growing grapes - the  geological foundation of the region is limestone, with a soil structure that is heavy in calcium. 

Bordeaux Wines - Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon

Over 90% of wines made in Bordeaux are red wines made with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Bordeaux red wines are made from a blend of grapes, and the grapes permitted for use include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère. Red wines from Bordeaux are typically medium to full-bodied, with the primary flavours being Black Currant, Plum, Graphite, Cedar, and Violet.

Pinot Noir

Aside from the Bordeaux region, France is also famous for its Pinot Noir wines. Pinot Noir grapes are notoriously difficult to grow - their thin skins make them susceptible to disease, and yields tend to be low. The long, cool season required to grow quality Pinot Noir means that few regions have managed to successfully produce Pinot Noir wines. 

Luckily, France’s region of Burgundy has the perfect climate and growing conditions for Pinot Noir - so much so, that very few other varieties of grapes are grown in the region. Burgundy Pinot Noir are universally recognised as the world’s finest wines made from the grape - though the prices can often reflect this with Pinot Noir from the region usually being on the pricey side. 

You can expect red fruit flavours from a bottle of Pinot Noir, such as strawberry and cherry, coupled with a soft tannin. Pinot Noirs from Burgundy tend to age very well, making them perfect for saving for a special occasion. 

Lower calorie French Red Wines available at DrinkWell 

DrinkWell are so excited to be able to bring to our customers an interesting collection of lower calorie red wines from many of the different wine regions in France. Check out some of the French red wines we currently have available below.

Croix de Marsan Rouge

A fabulous Bordeaux offering, this one is perfect for those who want reduced calories but like flavours to be big and bold. With just 91 calories and 0.1g of sugar per 125ml glass, it’s hard to resist the bold earthy notes and hints of oak, chocolate, and caramel found in this wine. Don’t just take our word for it - this low calorie red Bordeaux was awarded a Silver Medal in the Concours Bordeaux 2020. Why not order a bottle from the DrinkWell website for £13.99 so that you can try it yourself. 

Puy de Dome Pinot Noir

From the Auvergne region in southern France, this full bodied Pinot Noir contains only 94 calories and 1g of sugar per 125ml serving. From a glass of this light-purple gluten free wine, you can expect flavours of fresh red berries, pepper, spice and hints of chocolate. If you are tempted by this lower calorie French Pinot Noir, you can find it on the DrinkWell website for £14.99 per bottle. 

Château Toinet Saint-Emillion

The makers of this Saint-Emillion, Barton & Guestier, are the oldest wine merchants in Bordeaux, established by Irishman Thomas Batron in the 18th century after he emigrated to the region. Now, the company is reshaping how lower calorie red wine can be made, and their years of experience shine through in this Saint-Emillion, which we think is an impeccable display of quality. Best of all, this wine is suitable for vegans, gluten-free, and contains just 90 calories and 0.05g of sugar per 125ml glass. Treat yourself to the best of Bordeaux red wine and order a bottle for £14.99 from the DrinkWell website. 

French Rosé Wines 

Although many people first associate France with red and white wines, France actually has a strong rosé offering that rivals those of any other region. The biggest rosé wine making region in France is Provence, which sits along the mediterranean coast in the south of France. Provence is the oldest wine making region in France, and it is the only French region that focuses primarily on Rosé -  almost 90% of the wine made here is Rosé! 

Provence Rosé Wines

Provence rosé wines are widely regarded as the best rosé wines in the world - and if you have tried any of the Provence wines we have available at DrinkWell you will already understand why that is. The region primarily produces Grenache grapes, though this is accompanied by a variety of other grapes such as cinsault, syrah, mourvedre, and carignan. Provence has an enviable climate for growing grapes - it is warm with plenty of sunshine and does not get too much rain. 

Provence  is made up of 9 main regions, each producing their own unique wines. The largest of the regions is Côtes de Provence, which produces around 75% of the wine in Provence. Other regions producing rosé wines include Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, Coteaux Varois de Provence, and Palette. What's more, Provence is home to the world's only research facility that is dedicated to the research of  Rosé wine, evidencing the region's commitment to the development of world-leading  rosé wines. 

To the seasoned  rosé drinker, Provence rosé wines are recognisable by their dry and delicate taste, coupled with a light orange-tinted pink color. The wines also often have a minerally and subtle fruity taste. Wines made here tend to be premium quality and subsequently are higher in price than your average rosé.

Here at DrinkWell, we really do believe that Provence rosé wines stand head and shoulders above most other rosé wines, and once you try one there is no going back! For this reason, we have created two dedicated cases of Provence rosé wines - the Provence Perfection (£75.99) and the new Ultimate Provence Perfection (£99.99). We are certain that by the time you have finished a case you will understand what all the fuss is about. 

  • NEW Ultimate Provence Perfection
  • £99.99
Nutrition details (per 125ml)
ABV13%
Calories85
Sugars0g

DrinkWell's Ultimate Provence Perfection Case
Provence Rose has been a firm favourite of our customers (and the DrinkWell teams!) for many ... read more

Lower calorie French  Rosé Wines available at DrinkWell

Tempted by what you have read about Provence  Rosé wines? Below are some of our current lower calorie and lower carb  rosé wines.

La Bastide Deux Lunes Provence

With just 74 calories per 125ml glass, the La Bastide Deux Lunes Provence is our lowest calorie  Rosé wine offering. This rosé is a light and fragrant balance between fruity and fresh, making it the perfect accompaniment to fish dishes or salads. La Bastide des Deux Lunes vineyards are managed using the french “lutte raisonnée” sustainable philosophy, meaning “reasoned agriculture”. Despite its lower calorie content, this wine still retains a 13%ABV, which is very impressive for a rosé. You can purchase a bottle from the DrinkWell website for £15.49. 

Diamarine Provence

5-star rated by our customers, this ever popular lower calorie Rosé comes from the vintners of Estandon Vignerons, who have been cultivating Provençal vineyards for several generations. This vegan friendly wine contains just 0.1g of sugar and 81 calories per 125ml glass. Pale pink and very expressive on the nose, this rosé wine is deliciously tangy on the palate with fresh fruit and citrus peel aromas leading to a very elegant finish. Why not try it for yourself and order a bottle from the DrinkWell website for £11.99.

Pure Mirabeau Provence  Rosé

Carefully crafted from a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah grapes, this one is a really classy wine that we know you will love. Pure unveils delicate aromas of citrus, pink grapefruit, and subtle summer berries, with a zingy freshness, thanks to the fact the grapes are harvested at night to preserve freshness. In a 125ml glass of this vegan friendly and gluten free wine, you will find 92 calories and 0.12g of sugar. Treat yourself and purchase Pure Mirabeau from the DrinkWell website for £16.99. 

For even more exquisite options, browse the entire Drinkwell collection.

Browse All DrinkWell Wines

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