Every Year the Giant Supermarkets in France stage a wine festival in their stores where cases of some of France's top wines, and also wines yet to be discovered, can be had for fairly bargain prices. France's Geant Casino grocery store chain, with approximately 400 stores across the country, is one who upholds this tradition with good taste.
The French have it easy, at least when it comes to buying good French wines. And every Fall, many of these top French wines, and wines, too, from smaller lesser known producers, can be found and purchased for competitive prices, especially by US standards, at their local grocery stores.
Geant Casino, one of France's biggest and best in terms of quality, grocery store chains, boasts approximately 400 stores throughout the country. These stores vary in sizes from a super-Ralph's or Vons to their smaller Franprix which is more like the size of a Trader Joe's.
Each year their tasters, such the as young Sophie Talbot, fan out across the mosaic land to find, taste and bring back the best wines to offer their customers for the annual Foire aux Vins, wine celebration days that takes place each Fall.
Foire aux Vins 2016: September 2 - 17 Geant Casino and Casino Supermarche
Two Of Les Vins de Eric Beaumard's Vie
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the celebrated and celebrity sommelier of Paris's Four Seasons Hotel George V has released two of his own wines under his own label this year which will be available through Geant Casino. The first is a rose, Cotes de Provence, "Les Garrigues d'Eric Beaumard" whose freshness and acidity will leave you reaching for more. This 2015 is full of white flowers and shows off nicely with salad, grilled vegetables and also paper-thin carpaccio.
His next offering, a Chablis, goes by the name of "Les Ammonites." Here you will find the 2015 giving off hints of almond as you sip its generous liquidity. Per Eric, best enjoyed with small toasts of smoked salmon or oysters from Cancale or Oleron.
Bordeaux - Right Bank
Chateau de Pressac is one of the most beautiful chateaus in St. Emilion. If you've ever had the privilege to visit, the memory of it will overshadow even its wines, which is saying quite a lot given this is a Grand Cru. The 2011 on offer here is a stroke of luck to get since the legendary 2010 have all long sold out. Expect a bouquet of blackcurrant and blackberry with dried tabacco leaves. Once tasted you can look forward to black fruits, slightly candies, finishing with a long elegance and freshness.
Enjoy this wine with red meats, grilled or stewed and also fine cheeses.
Looking to make a new discovery and perhaps a new conquest? Look no farther than Portugal's red and white wines. Of course when one thinks of the Douro, Port wines often first come to mind. And while the Douro has made significant headway in recent years getting its unfortified reds onto the international market, their whites still remain a bit of a mystery.
Beira Interior Quinta Do Cardo
This little red that could won the Gold Medal in Brussels in 2015. Its full name is Beira Interior Quinta Do Cardo Touriga Nacional Reserva 2012. An easy to drink but complex red, you'll find here notes of violette and dark chocolate. Expect firm, dense tannins.
Serve with a roast and/ or aged cheese.
Dao Quinta Do Cerrado Encruzado 2015
Of the two Portugal whites on offer for this wine bonanza at Casino, this is the more mineral of the two. Fresh fruits, intense color, small flowers and nice balance.
Best as aperitif or with shellfish.
Douro Vallegre Colheita Branco 2014
This is the wine to bring to the bbq or a meal where everyone is to pleased. It has the mark of an international wine. Hints of lemon on the nose, with an ample mouth, warm and rich.
Photos: by Paige Donner of the selection of wines to look forward to this Fall at Geant Casino. Tasting at Drouant Paris.