In the spirit of Wine Awareness Day, we’re talking about wine. Why? Because wine and interior style are the perfect pairing. After all, where else will you enjoy your chosen bottle? And what will you enjoy it in? When thinking about our favourite wines from France, it’s about much more than the classic Bordeaux and Champagne – after all, France produces around 8 billion bottles of wine a year. So we’ve picked our 5 favourites below. Use them as inspiration for finding your own favourite, but don’t be afraid to ask your local wine seller or read up on different vintages. And remember: price doesn’t always equal quality.
As you’ll quickly come to learn, wines are named after the region in which they’re produced. A product of the Bordeaux region, red Bordeaux wines get better over time and typically have a bold bold palette, full of rich notes like dark fruit and chocolate. Because of this, some of the most famous wines in the world are of this variety, but we prefer a 2012 Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac-Leognan. Enjoy it in a unique engraved French wine glass.
Sometimes referred to as a Burgundy (after the region they hail from), Pinot Noirs have a darker, earthier flavour than Bordeaux. You’ll get notes like plum, tobacco and earth, as well as dark fruit. A 2009 vintage is particularly well-regarded, and we like Joseph Faiveley Volnay Santenots. It’s best enjoyed in the evening, in ambient settings – try adding a scented candle or terracotta candlestick to set the scene.
No favourite French wine list would be complete without a nod to Champagne. It’s an export of the region of the same name, and is a light, sparkling white wine. Most Champagnes contain a blend of grape varieties, and the crisper notes include biscuit and citrus, with a hint of vanilla – depending which you choose. Our favourite is Bollinger Brut Champagne Special Cuvée, and because it’s best for special occasions, get your home occasion-worthy with designer dinnerware, like these lapis and gold canape plates.
Rivers and valleys have rich soil, which is what makes wines from the Rhône River Valley particularly desirable. It varies with each type, but in general, most Rhône wines are smoky with a hint of fruit and spice. We opt for the André Brunel Côtes du Rhône-Villages Cuvée Sabrine. And we prefer to drink it with dinner, surrounded by fittingly luxe home decor pieces, like this blue lapis vase and cosy handwoven wool rug.
The region along the Loire River, in the valley, is famed for its white wines varieties. There’s lots to choose from, including the Vouvray – a citrus, herbal tasting crisp wine. In particular, look out for a 2008 vintage like a 2008 Clos Rougeard Saumur-Champigny. Enjoy it outdoors on summer evenings, perched atop a rattan love seat, or handmade Moroccan rocking chair.