French Spirits and Wines to Try Next

French Spirits and Wines to Drink All Year


French spirits and wines have a reputation — a good one, of course! This July, celebrate Bastille Day with some favorite picks by wine buyer Lorena Ascencios, spirits buyer Nima Ansari, and assistant spirits buyer Cristina Nichols. The following wines are light, lean, and very compelling. The French spirits we’ve selected are interesting enough to sip on their own, but would make excellent additions to any number of cooling cocktails. Invite the rich traditions of France into your summer entertaining with these French spirits and wines.

Côtes Catalanes “Cuvée Romanissa,” Matassa – 2014 $28.96
If you tasted this blind, you’d be hard pressed to guess it was from the south of France. This drinks like a red Burgundy or Jura wine and is the ultimate in elegance. – LA

Givry Blanc 1er Cru “La Grande Berge”, Clos Salomon – 2011 $44.96
A white Burgundy that’s full of smoky and floral aromas. The smokiness could be mistaken for new wood but actually expresses the terroir, which is not only the character of the vine site but also the personality of finely made Burgundy from the village of Givry. – LA

Vouvray “Les Déronnières”, François Pinon – 2014 $21.96
François Pinon makes wines worthy of everyone’s attention. Made from Chenin Blanc, a native grape of the Loire Valley that has many faces, this is a still wine that is unctuous on the palate. Dry, yet not bone-dry, and therefore a great foil for many-a-dish (even brisket). – LA

Dom. d’Ognoas Vintage Armagnac – 1995 $79.96
This is from one of the most storied estates in the region, a truly special place for French spirits. Grand in stature and reputation, this remains remarkably accessible both in value and flavor. One of the most exciting finds currently on our shelves. – NAB

Chiroubles, Damien Coquelet – 2015 $19.7
Vivid flavors of geranium, lilac, licorice, and cinnamon wrap around this wine’s supple body and juicy finish. It’s always a good time to drink this gem from the excellent 2015 vintage. – NAB

Augier Singulier Folle Blanche Cognac $79.96
This is not your dead-of-winter grandpa’s brandy — rather it’s livey with enticing aromas of Tahitian vanilla, orange marmalade, and other light fruit notes (like pear) rounded out with some gentle young oak. It’s a perfect example of a summer cognac, and notable as a 100% folle blanche expression. – CN

Meyer’s Alsatian Blended Whisky $34.96
Leave it to the French to create a whisky that offers aromas of confectioners’ sugar and freshly baked flaky croissants. The Sauternes barrel aging creates a bouquet of refined elegance with an anchoring depth of flavor. – CN

Combier Liqueur d’Orange $29.96
This liqueur is a bright and fresh citrus explosion of mandarin oranges, tangerines, clementines, and orange peels. At 40% ABV it will hold up in cocktails and elevate the quality of your margaritas. – CN