Bastille Day Survey of France’s Best Summer Reds with Michael Franz
2 hours • $85
On the eve of Bastille Day, we’ll sample and discuss the lighter side of the red spectrum that keeps France at the pinnacle of world wine excellence in summer as well as winter.
Bordeaux may not be a great summer wine, but there’s no doubt that red Burgundy is exactly that, as are Chinon and Bourgueil from the Loire and the rapidly improving Pinots from Alsace. Top cru Beaujolais wines from villages such as Fleurie are brilliant in summer, and even ones with a little more weight from a village like Morgon take a light chilling beautifully, retaining their complexity even as they gain refreshment value. Earthy examples of Châteauneuf-du-Pape may be best in winter, but Grenache-based wines made nearby in Lirac or Vacqueyras are perfect with a light chill and dynamite with grilled summer foods. Syrah from northern Rhône appellations such as Côte-Rôtie and Crozes-Hermitage are moderate in weight but fabulous in flavor during summer, and I’ll have several additional surprises in store.