Calling all wine lovers! As the sun sets on summer, it’s time to re-stock the cellars for the coming winter months or that next special occasion.

There’s no rest for the nation’s retailers this month, big and small. Just as they are clearing the last of the back to school supplies from the shop floor, in come pallets of wooden wine boxes, ready to take their place.

Since the end of summer not only marks La Rentrée, but also that crucial time in the wine world when the new vintage of grapes are ready to be harvested and made into the fermented juice us adults so much enjoy.

To celebrate the vendages (grape harvests) supermarkets nation-wide host an annual ‘Foire aux Vins’.  A wine fair to increase the already generous selection on offer with promotions designed to encourage the wine lover inside us all to spend up big.

Wine selection for 2013 Foire aux Vins at Carrefour in Nice

Wines in the Carrefour 2013 Foire aux Vins

The Foire aux Vins is somewhat of a French institution – you’ll find not just supermarkets but also wine shops and online retailers embrace the idea of this end of summer wine fair. The start dates are staggered throughout September and into October. Casino and Carrefour have already opened the doors for their 2013 edition, although we’ll have to wait another week or two for the goodies at Leclerc and Auchan to be unveiled.

Don’t expect to find the same wines on offer at each supermarket. They are each firmly proud of their individual selections, which generates a staggering revenue and increase in bottle sales. It’s also a great opportunity to get acquainted with your local store’s liquor manager and take advantage of a festive atmosphere in the air, with many tastings planned to meet producers.

Bottles of champagne and wooden cases in Nice

Unsurprisingly the selection is Bordeaux-centric and focuses mainly on the more recent vintages. This year you’ll find much 2011. Yet if Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot based wines are not your thing, there’s plenty of opportunity to discover France’s other wine regions and smaller properties. You may even fine a wine or two from the New World!

One thing is for sure; since the experts agree that recent vintages in Bordeaux haven’t reached the lofty heights of its predecessors, picking the right producer this year is key. Grab one of the guides each supermarket produces or read up online. A little research before hitting the shops could see you with some stellar wines ageing nicely in your cellar for years to come. A good place to start is Le Figaro Wine Guidetchin tchin!

The Riviera Grapevine blog

Be sure to check out Chrissie’s blog and stay up to date with all the happenings in the world of wine.


Lead image credit: serezniy / 123RF Stock Photo; all other photogarphs © Riviera Buzz



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