A Cheap Person’s Guide to Fancy French Wine 

We asked four Master Somms from around the country to name some of the best wine steals in the seven most prestigious wine regions of France.

We all want to drink like we’ve got Zuckerberg money. But the truth is, expensive wine doesn’t even taste as good as we think it does. According to science, we should be paying less attention to the price of each bottle, and more attention to what’s on the label.

Fortunately, your friendly neighborhood Master Sommelier not only knows how to read a wine label—he or she can tell the difference between good stuff and total plonk. And as the guy or gal buying wine for your favorite restaurant or retail store, an M.S. also knows a thing or two about value. So I’ve asked four well-respected Master Somms from around the country to target some of the best wine steals in the seven most prestigious wine regions of France.

As it turns out, the most value can be found in lesser-known appellations close to those famous for high price tags. Master Sommelier Josh Nadel—founder of Gothic Wine and Beverage Director of New York’s NoHo Hospitality—uses the Rhône valley as an example: whereas Châteauneuf-du-Pape gets all the glory, land is more affordable in nearby Luberon, allowing for higher yield and economy of scale.

“Luberon isn’t as good as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but the tangible profile of its wines—dark, sun-ripened fruit, full-bodied, moderate-to-plus-high alcohol, decent acidity—is roughly 80 percent the same,” Nadel explains. “Maybe the vineyards aren’t as old, the terroir is slightly different, the farmers aren’t making the wine the same ways—so you lose your last 10 to 20 percent of complexity, and the ability to age it for as long.”This trade-off can be applied to most wine regions in France. Drink your wine within a few years of purchasing it, and you’ll be able to save lots of moola on juice from the appellations recommended below [ . . . ]

More at: A Cheap Person’s Guide to Fancy French Wine | Food & Wine

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