Bastille Day invokes raucous riots and fabulous feasts—bursts of passion that can only be appropriately paired with (or fueled by) French wine. With an eye to the revolutionary spirit of Bastille Day, here’s a look at some great French wines that defy the traditional character of the regions in which they are produced.
The Northern Rhône
The Northern Rhône is renowned for spicy, Syrah-dominated reds, but some exceptional whites manage to peek through. The Condrieu region and, more specifically, Château-Grillet produce lush, floral, aromatic, and peachy Viogner wines that rival the best whites of France.
Less than an eighth of famed Bordeaux region produces white wines, but that still leaves plenty of space for quality finds, especially in the Entre-Deux-Mers region. This region led France in adoption of cool-fermentation in stainless steel vats and is a great source of high-quality, affordable Sauvignon Blanc (often blended with Semillion). We recommend Chateau Bonnet.
The history of Burgundy shifted course with the onset of the French Revolution. Prior to 1789, most of the region's vineyards were church-owned. Since these properties were seized and redistributed during the Revolution, a wide variety of viticulture styles and even wider range of cultivated varietals emerged. While you may know Chardonnay to be the classic Burgundy white, try the region’s other white grape, Aligoté, to celebrate the defiance that epitomizes Bastille Day. Bouzeron village is especially renowned for their Aligoté.
Even after reading all this, your first Bastille Day instinct might be to reach for bottle of celebratory bubbly. If so, be sure to check our wallet-friendly sparkling wine recommendations.