You may have seen wine brochures at the entrance of French supermarkets these days, in mailboxes or at wine shops. Children go back to school, parents go back to work and the new fall selection of wine has arrived. Winalist tells you about the actual trends on the French market, coupled with some useful tips: just follow the guide!
Which wine fairs?
Wine fairs were created in 1973 by famous supermarket E.Leclerc, for wine insiders and connoisseurs. Many events and publicity stunts from competitors later, wine fairs became a popular concept, a moment in the year that people await to find the real good deal! Not to be confused with professional wine trade fairs, the spring and autumn wine fairs in France are held in shops or on the Internet. They are open to everyone: wine lovers who want to discover new products, collectors who want to grow their cellar or just for you and me who want to please ourselves.
Fairs in wine stores, supermarkets and on the internet
Supermarkets wine fairs
Pros: the volume-based discounts are not negligible! The main supermarket brands’ websites are user friendly and make it really easy to order. Sometimes you can also chat with a wine consultant just like on “macave.leclerc” by E.Leclerc supermarket.
Cons: a wine bought on a supermarket won’t surprise your friends. Rare wines and greater advices are to be found at the wine merchant’s.
Wine stores fairs
Pros: valuable and relevant advice, the possibility to make an appointment with a sommelier and to taste the wine on site!
Cons: prices are on average higher than in supermarkets and on the internet.
The dates of the main wine stores fairs :
Wine fairs on the Internet
Obviously you can’t taste the wine but the internet offers unbeatable prices on bottles or on their delivery. Here is the list of the main wine sales sites, chronologically classified by the final date of their wine fair:
Fall 2017 trends
Organic – Already sitting on the stalls of specialized supermarkets like Biocoop or Naturalia, or Lavinia for wine stores, organic wines are massively showcased in other supermarkets: Carrefour, U System, Auchan or Monoprix.
Ready to drink vintages – Great vintages prices such as 2005, 2009 or even 2015 have tremendously increased and compelled one who doesn’t have a well-secured cellar, or a big wine budget, to go for younger wines.
Cheaper wines – Hard discount stores have also bet on Autumn wine fairs to increase their turnover for several years. Just like regular supermarkets, they also offer a great selection but with very attractive prices.
How to select your bottles when you don’t know much about wine?
Better spend the budget in a small vintage of a great wine, rather than in a great vintage of a small wine.Do you still feel lost facing the endless shelves full of wine bottles? Trust the contests and guides medals (the word “Médaille” in French will be featured on the bottle). They only award wines that participated in their competition but they guarantee a high standard.
Stay on the lookout for sales: often, stores and supermarkets, online or physical, sell off some of their good bottles to attract customers – but they only have limited stock. Other promotions are volume-based: 2 + 1, the 6th bottle for free, the 2nd is half price … etc, which is very useful to reconstitute the wine stocks for the next events to be celebrated in the year! Do not forget the store loyalty card, which can give you an additional discount.
If you are an adventurer, wine fairs are a good opportunity to discover little-known or foreign wines, and to find good surprises for a small budget!
The best prices are local. Because of logistics, if you are looking for a wine from Burgundy at a small price, better is to buy it in Lyon. And the same applies to all wine regions.
The Fall or Spring wine fairs are opportunities to find great pleasures at low prices! For those who are still hesitating on which wine to choose, Winalist advises you to buy a dozen of bottles, enjoy them together and make your choice after the tasting, on the bottle to buy in several copies. Enjoy the discovery!
Also published on Medium.