Tuesday 8 September 2009

La Foire aux Vins 2009

I'm not a big shopper. The thought of rummaging through sales racks with hundreds of other frenzied shoppers or queuing for the latest 'must have' hand bag leaves me cold.

But I did indulge in an orgy of spending today at the Foire aux Vins in Carrefour. Every September, all the major supermarkets have their big, annual wine promotion where some of the big names in the French wine world are for sale at, supposedly, knock down prices.

Given that 80% of what I drink is from the Languedoc, I was looking for wines from further afield. And mostly white. Although Bordeaux is centre stage at most supermarkets' F aux Vins I managed to avoid buying a single bottle of Claret. My cellar is full of the stuff, mostly bought in the UK where I paid silly duty, and then repatriated back to France when I moved here. And we hardly ever drink it.

Instead, my chariot was bursting with white burgundy. A dozen bottles of Jean-Marc Brocard's flinty, unoaked Chablis and a selection of his Bourgogne Blanc from different soil types. At 5,95€, worth a try. I'm looking forward to trying the Macon Villages from Verget too. From elsewhere in France, I got some cheap and cheerful Alsace Gewurztraminer, plus some Pinot Gris. Sancerre is so overpriced these days but I couldn't resist a few bottles of Gitton 2008. We'll see whether it's worth it. A few bottles of Beaujolais, some of Lurton Carmenère from Chile, a Jumilla from Spain and 3 bottles of my favourite Chianti from Fonterutoli. The latter is probably the wine I'm looking forward to trying most. I managed to resist the Yellowtail Oz reds - prefer my red wine without a hefty dose of residual sugar.

Overall, the selection in Carrefour is good, even in provincial Narbonne, but the prices weren't amazing. I was there with my shopping head on so bought anyway and came away happy with the selection but not feeling that I'd nabbed some real bargains.

A gripe or two about Carrefour. There is noone around to ask about anything. No wines available for tasting (at a wine promotion - perish the thought!)And no empty cartons to put in loose bottles of wine. Apparently they dismantle them and throw them away immediately. So I had to drive home with them rolling around in the back of the car.

Oh I did buy a few bottles of Languedoc wine. Just couldn't resist it. Some very cheap Jean Jean Picpoul for the masses, La Chapelle de Bebian from the famous Prieuré de Bebian near Pezenas and a promising Corbières from Ch Ollieux Romanis.


  1. I regret not buying Clairette de Die (tastes just like Asti Spumante to me) last year at half price for a box of 6. Goes well with most deserts and is light on alcohol.
    Seems like there's no such deal this year.

  2. Just been to Carrefour Market (previously Hyper-Champion) in Pezenas and a Foire aux Vins runs from 30-Sep to 11-Oct. The catalogue has none of the wine you mention bar two Chablis from Brocard. However, Clairette de Die Jaillance is at €10,40 for 3 bottles.

  3. It seems that the wines on promo vary from shop to shop. I presume you've stocked up on the Clairette de Die?

  4. Picked up three bottles of Clairette de Die Tradition (as opposed to Brut) today.
    Note this is a Carrefour Market Foire and not Carrefour.