Printhie Blog.

September 23rd 2010

Debunking the myth

When I first came to France nearly 20 years ago I was so excited to be in what I then considered the homeland of great wine. My first wine experience in France was to visit a wine store in a regional town. I was marvelling at all the wine on offer but I was then handed a massive letdown. The only other customer at the time was a local, who walked in with his jerry can, filled in with bulk wine from a petrol bowser like machine and forked over his 1FF per litre. I was gutted. Didn’t all frenchmen just drink the great wines of France? Obviously not.

Wine list disappointment

Twenty years on and not that much has changed. This time I am noticing it in the restaurants. I have been seeking out local neighbourhood bistros and brasseries. The food is solid without being special. The wine lists are crap! The lists are short, lack information, offer very little by the glass and completely lack interest. I am drinking more beer than I expected because the beers are often more interesting or more reliable than the mystery wine choices. Remember that Epernay is a regional wine capital in France and is quite wealthy.

You would think that the local wine industry would be catered for with better wine lists. Obviously not.

Wine list wonderland

I am beginning to think that Australian restaurants beat the French hands down when it comes to restaurant wine lists – in fact Australia may well be the wine list wonderland.

Even in suburban restaurants there is more choice, more detail (eg vintages) and more wines available by the glass. I am sure that Michelin starred restaurants in France have great wine lists but I’m also sure that hatted restaurants in Australia are their equal where the diner can choose interesting, world class wines. Some locals here have expressed the same disappointment but there does not seem to be much change on the horizon. One local mentioned there was a great wine bar in Troyes – an hour and a half drive south from Epernay.

It’s a long way to go for decent glass of wine.

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@PrinthieWines on Twitter

Always a pleasure @jeniport - thanks for visiting, hope you enjoyed the Orange region, the wines & lollipops lol :)
10:43am on Sun 16 October
My 1st taste of these elegant wines from Orange. Hope to see @PrinthieWines in the UK soon. The name says it all! pic.twitter.com/BxTf2uVf9z
5:58am on Fri 18 March
Super-Duper speil - read all about it! twitter.com/Winetitles/sta…
1:35pm on Wed 3 February
OMG my 1st pick is 4 Feb. Unheralded! twitter.com/printhiewines/…
3:46pm on Tue 26 January
Just cleaned the press in readiness for #V16 but it is still only January. Noooo!!! Surely vintage is still months away #CoolClimate #Orange
4:40pm on Mon 25 January
No rest for the wicked. Great to see you at the pointy end of the racing. All the best for the season. twitter.com/Mark_Renshaw/s…
4:37pm on Mon 25 January
Check out my 245.2 km ride on Strava. @WinePeloton strava.com/activities/476…'>strava.com/activities/476… strava.com/activities/476…'>strava.com/activities/476…
12:39pm on Sun 24 January
Thx to Colin & Roy for joining #epic cycling. Pics are Roy about to launch up the big climb & 3 of us at Lake Lydell pic.twitter.com/28okIO08T4
12:31pm on Sun 24 January
@WinePeloton #epic #cycling was from Orange, over the Blue Mountains, to Penrith on the outskirts of Sydney. Why? Life is short
12:26pm on Sun 24 January

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