Welcome to Imbibe Magazine's between-issues look at liquid culture with drink recipes, news and more. From coffee to cocktails, Imbibe celebrates your world in a glass.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Joyeux Quatorze Juillet!

Happy Bastille Day! We couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Monday afternoon than helping our friends in France celebrate their own national day of independence. For those fortunate enough to join the festivities in France, be sure to pick up a copy of The Best Wine Bars & Shops of Paris, Pierrick Jégu’s fun and informative journey through some of the oldest, smallest and most convivial cavistes in the City of Lights.

If you’re celebrating stateside with the rest of us, here are a few French summer sippers that are sure to spark a revolution all their own. Pop the cork and take a sip. Soon, you’ll be singing La Marseillaise like a native.

The Reds:
2004 Château Pineraie Cahors
The dark and earthy Côt (Malbec) grape lends itself beautifully to this bold and fruity favorite of Southwestern France. At $12 a bottle, this inky-red wine with notes of plum and leather is perfect with a steak or burger.

2006 Maison Joseph Drouhin Vero Pinot Noir
Wes Marshall, author of our summer wine story in the May/June issue, recommends this inexpensive (about $22 a bottle) yet highly quaffable Burgundy from one of the region’s most widely respected producers. A blend from daughter Veronique’s favorite vineyards around the region, this Pinot is a “simple, straightforward wine with strawberry and raspberry aromas.”

The Pinks:
2007 Domaine Sorin Côtes de Provence Rosé
From a family-run estate in the heart of Provence comes this light-copper-hued rosé. Crisp and juicy with classic notes of strawberry, it’s a great bargain at about $12 a bottle and perfect with grilled salmon or rosemary chicken.

2006 Domaine Fontsainte Gris de Gris
A good bet for picnics or patio parties, this food-friendly Corbiéres rosé blend of Granache Gris, Granache Noir, Syrah and Mourvédre is not the least bit complicated or stuffy, and available for just under $15 a bottle.

The Whites:
2007 Cazin Le Petit Chambord Cour-Cheverny
From one of the Loire Valley’s newest appellations comes the ancient—and almost extinct—Romorantin grape. Grown deep in limestone-rich soil, Cazin’s Cour-Cheverny boasts notes of roasted nuts, ripe apricots and bright acidity. About $16 a bottle and a great match with spicy Asian food and nutty cheeses.

2007 Les Grandes Vignes du Roy Côtes du Rhône Blanc
This sustainably grown blend of Clairette, Marsanne and Roussanne is crisp and dry with subtle notes of peach and citrus. $16 a bottle and a touch of minerality makes this Côtes du Rhône Blanc a perfect pairing for fried chicken or grilled halibut.