Some would say there aren’t white wines comparable to the French white wines. Vastly different in style and terroir, there is something for everyone to be found in the wine capital of the world – from buttery oaked Chardonnay’s to crisp and fragrant Sauvignon Blanc. We could have written an extensive book on French White wines, but here is a round-up of five to look out for.
Chablis is region in located in Northwest corner of Burgundy. Unlike other popular styles of Chardonnay that are oaked, Chablis is generally an expression of the limestone terroir rather than the winemaking process. Its flavours are reminiscent of pear, citrus and flint, with bright acidity and elegance. This French white wine makes an excellent match for escargot alongside its traditional pairing of Tarragon Chicken, or as it’s known in France, Poulet à l’Estragon.
Burgundy: Côte de Beaune
Unlike Chablis, these French white wines are the epitome of the best of Burgundy’s oaked style. It is home to some of the most expensive vineyards on the planet. Rich and powerful expressions, with notes of pear, golden apple, cinnamon, almond and toasted bread. There are also some earthy aromas like white truffle. The wines of the Côte de Beaune are some of the most admired and sought after, so can go for a pretty penny – but let us tell you, they’re worth it.
The home of Sauvignon Blanc, both spiritually and literally! Hailing from the Loire Valley, Sancerre has set the standard for this grape around the world. This French white wine displays gooseberry, flint, and sometimes hay and its trademark grassy notes. There’s plenty of citrus, with high acidity that makes it a match made in heaven for a goat's cheese salad.
One of the four Grand Cru grapes of Alsace on the German-border of France, these white wines are hugely underrated and offer some of the most unique flavour profiles in the world of wine. Headily floral and aromatic, with notes of rose, honey, ginger, lychee and grapefruit. It’s got the most exotic expression and thus pairs dreamily with equally exotic foods like Middle Eastern or Moroccan cuisine.
Another wonderful creation from the Loire Valley, Vouvray is French white wine made from Chenin Blanc. It made in both a dry and sweet style. Chenin Blanc from this region is brimming with apples, honey, and even notes of chamomile. It makes an excellent match for anything made with pork and apple, or simply as an aperitif.