The blog of Grapefan Consulting, Colin Smith's adventures in the wonderful world of wine as a judge, WSET Diploma graduate and occasional promoter of wines round the London trade scene.
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Sud de France wines
The staff at La Maison de Languedoc-Roussillon work pretty hard to promote wines from the region.
Hot on the heels of this week's "Award Winning Wines" tasting comes an email announcing an event for organic and biodynamic producers on December 10th 2010. I attended the synchronised worldwide tasting online event and there have been other events this year I now can't recall.
Does any other generic body spend so much time promoting wines? Does it result in an increase in sales? I don't know the answers to these questions but I sincerely hope sales reflect the promotional work.
Wines from the Sud de France strike me as being excellent value for money. Whether it is the Gerard Betrand 2008 Corbieres from Marks and Spencer recommended in Thursday's The Times by Tim Atkin, the medal winning Domaine de Cebene Les Bancels (part of the Outsiders - rocking the Languedoc wine scene group on Facebook) or the range from Chateau d'Angles, I'm always impressed. And I especially enjoy the whites from the region including some unusual but flavoursome grape varieties. I suspect however that the shelves in the supermarkets full of Sud de France wines get overlooked in favour of the heavily promoted and discounted Aussie wines.
There was a time when we all drank French wines perhaps because they reminded us of our holidays driving through France to a gite or campsite. People travel further afield now and their expectations have broadened as has their desire to try something "different". What is a slight barrier when it comes to promoting wines from the region is the plethora of names on the label - Corbieres, Vin de pay d'Oc, Cotes du Roussillon etc, etc. It really is easier for a consumer to head for an Aussie Shiraz or an Italian pinot grigio. However the Sud de France banner really helps to unite all the disparate regions and names and when I see it I know I'm generally getting good value quality wines.
I'll keep supporting their wines and encouraging others to also whilst the quality/price point is so good.