Taste France have rounded up five reasons why wines from the Loire are some of the best options for casual sipping. Read on, grab a bottle, and get ready to get thirsty.

The world heritage site is France’s third-largest appellation wine-growing region: Loire wines. In the middle flows ‘The Loire’, France’s longest river, meandering 1,000 kilometres from the centre of France to the Atlantic, with surrounding vineyards which cover almost 70,000 hectares. With its four territories and numerous terroirs, the range of wines on offer means there’s something for every palate. A euro vacay may not be on the cards anytime soon, which is why we’ve brought Loire Wines to you. The Loire Wine Experience at our Sydney show is the perfect masterclass for all you Francophiles and budding wine enthusiasts.

There’s Something for Everyone

Although a variety of grapes and winemaking styles are found in the Loire, you can pretty much know that what you’re getting will be fresh, crowd-pleasing, and super easy to drink. The Loire ‘s cool climate helps keep acid high in grapes, which in turn, translates to refreshing wines that promise to keep your palate quenched all day long. Whether zesty whites, fruit-driven rosés, or earthy reds are more your thing, the Loire definitely has something delicious for you.

Loire Wines Are Insanely Food-Friendly

Because of their naturally high acidity and low to moderate levels of tannins (in reds), Loire Wines are extremely versatile on the table. No matter what’s on the menu, there’s a bottle from the Loire to pair with it.

For fresh seafood and raw bar favourites, grab a bottle of Muscadet (Melon Blanc grape variety) from the Loire’s eponymous western appellations, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine or Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire. Crisp salads or fresh goat cheese on deck? Look no further than an acid-driven bottle of Loire Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine. For meats, roasted veggies, and crockpot stews, chilling a bottle of earthy Cabernet Franc from Chinon, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Saumur,  or Saumur-Champigny is always a good idea. And for charcuterie boards, Mediterranean-inspired mezze, and a variety of happy hour hors d’oeuvres, Rosé d’Anjou’s got your back.

They Won’t Break the Bank

Contrary to popular belief, not all great wine is expensive – and juice from the Loire perfectly embodies that statement. In comparison to other well-known regions, Loire wines will often cost a fraction of their French counterparts. In this westerly French region, great wines can be found at all price points, especially in the sub-$20 category. At this price point, we recommend seeking out bottles from Touraine, Anjou, and Saumur-Champigny. Drinking well on a budget never tasted so good.

Many Loire Wines Are Sustainable

On the topic of drinking well, we believe that great wine should not only be easy to drink, but also be responsibly made. This means that fruit should be farmed organically/sustainably, and that environmentally-friendly practices should be respected in the winery. Over the last few decades, the Loire has become somewhat of a hotbed for natural winemaking, meaning that many of its growers farm sustainably and use this minimalist mindset in the cellar. Sipping well without a guilty conscience? Count us in.

They Embody French Bistro Culture

Looking to relive your last trip to Paris at home? Then you absolutely need to bring a few bottles of Loire wines to your table. Loire wines are served at nearly every French bistro across the city, and it’s no surprise why: they’re affordable, they’re delicious, and they pair well with a variety of classic bistro dishes. Whip up some steak tartare, boeuf bourguignon, or cheesy gratin, pop a chilled bottle, and get ready for an instant mental transport back to the City of Lights.

Not sure where to begin? Here a few major grape varieties to get acquainted with

Chenin Blanc​ – This indigenous Loire variety is one of the most versatile grapes on the planet. The wines’ signature flavours of yellow apples, green apple skin, honey, and crushed rocks are appealing to a variety of palate preferences. If you love Chardonnay or richer white wines from Spain, you’re going to love these textured bottles. Wines crafted from Chenin Blanc are generally medium to full-bodied and range from bone dry to dessert sweet. Some of the region’s most highly regarded appellations for Chenin Blanc production are Saumur, Vouvray, and Savennières. For those looking for delicious sweet wine options, search for bottles from Bonnezeaux, Quarts de Chaume, or Coteaux du Layon. Chenin Blanc is used in the production of both still and sparkling wines like Vouvray or Crémant de Loire.

Sauvignon Blanc​ – What’s not to love about Sauvignon Blanc? This crisp, high-acid variety produces some of the most thirst-quenching wines from various regions around the world, however, Loire expressions are a bit specific. Contrary to their New World counterparts, SB from the Loire tends to err on the cripsy and lively side. These unique signature flavours make these wines even more fun to drink (and pair with a variety of snacks, of course). You can rely on a Touraine, Touraine-Chenonceaux, Touraine-Oisly or Haut-Poitou.

Cabernet Franc ​- Cabernet Franc is one of the most interesting varieties on the planet. When produced in the Loire , these wines are known for their flavours of red fruit, bell pepper and spice. If roasted veggies, grilled meats, or crockpot stews are on the menu, snagging a bottle of Cabernet Franc is always a good idea. Look for labels from Saumur, Saumur-Champigny, or Chinon for some of the region’s best expressions, and serve slightly chilled for an even tastier drinking experience.

From terroir to sustainability and from rosés to sparkling wines and more, Loire Wines & Taste France have teamed up to explore the wines and wine making of the Loire Valley. Sharpen your knowledge of the region and prepare to taste test some of the finest drops the region has to offer. Tickets and more info here.

Loire Wines

Taste France