If you’re a wine lover on a budget, you might assume that finding a great French wine under 20 dollars is impossible. But the truth is that there are plenty of delicious, high-quality wines from France that won’t break the bank. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best French wines under 20 dollars, including red, white, and rosé varieties, and provide tips on how to choose the perfect bottle for your taste and budget.
Why French Wine?
France is one of the world’s most renowned wine-producing countries, with a long history of winemaking and a wealth of vineyards and wineries throughout the country. French wines are known for their complexity, depth, and elegance, and they can range from light and fruity to rich and full-bodied. With so many different regions and grape varieties to choose from, there’s truly a French wine for every palate.
Tips for Choosing French Wines Under 20 Dollars
When shopping for French wines on a budget, it’s important to keep a few key things in mind:
Look for lesser-known regions
While wines from famous regions like Bordeaux and Burgundy can be quite expensive, there are plenty of other regions in France that produce high-quality wines at more affordable prices. Look for wines from the Loire Valley, the Rhone Valley, and the Languedoc-Roussillon region, among others.
Consider lesser-known grape varieties
Just like with regions, there are some grape varieties that are more expensive and in higher demand than others. Look for wines made from less well-known varieties like Cinsault, Carignan, and Gamay for reds, and Muscadet, Picpoul, and Vermentino for whites.
Try a boxed wine
Boxed wines are often associated with low-quality, mass-produced wines, but there are some high-quality boxed wines available, particularly from French producers. Boxed wines are often more affordable than bottled wines, and they can be a great option for parties or gatherings where you want to serve a lot of wine without breaking the bank.
The Best French Wines Under 20 Dollars
Now that you have some tips for choosing affordable French wines, let’s explore some of the best options on the market:
Côtes du Rhône
Côtes du Rhône wines are made in the Rhone Valley region of France, using a blend of several different grape varieties. They’re known for their spicy, fruity flavors and medium body. Look for wines from producers like Guigal and Delas.
Beaujolais is a red wine made from the Gamay grape, which is known for its light, fruity flavors. Beaujolais wines are often served chilled, and they’re a great option for summer drinking. Look for wines from producers like Georges Duboeuf and Jean-Paul Brun.
Cahors is a red wine made from the Malbec grape, which is also used to make Argentinian wines. Cahors wines are known for their dark color and full-bodied, tannic flavors. Look for wines from producers like Château du Cèdre and Clos La Coutale.
Muscadet is a white wine made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, which is grown in the Loire Valley region of France. Muscadet wines are known for their crisp, refreshing flavors and high acidity, which makes them a great pairing for seafood. Look for wines from producers like Domaine de la Pépière and Domaine de l’E
Picpoul de Pinet
Picpoul de Pinet is a white wine made from the Picpoul grape, which is grown in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. Picpoul wines are known for their bright, citrusy flavors and high acidity, making them a great pairing for oysters and other shellfish. Look for wines from producers like Les Costières de Pomerols and Château de la Mirande.
Alsatian Riesling is a white wine made from the Riesling grape, which is grown in the Alsace region of France. Alsatian Rieslings are known for their crisp, floral flavors and high acidity, which makes them a great pairing for spicy foods. Look for wines from producers like Domaine Weinbach and Domaine Ostertag.
Côtes de Provence
Côtes de Provence is a rosé wine made in the Provence region of France, using a blend of several different grape varieties. Côtes de Provence rosés are known for their light, fruity flavors and pale pink color. Look for wines from producers like Château d’Esclans and Domaines Ott.
Tavel is a rosé wine made in the Rhone Valley region of France, using a blend of several different grape varieties. Tavel wines are known for their full-bodied, fruity flavors and deep pink color. Look for wines from producers like Domaine de la Mordorée and Domaine de la Vallongue.
Finding a delicious French wine under 20 dollars is easier than you might think. By looking for wines from lesser-known regions and grape varieties, and considering boxed wines as an option, you can enjoy high-quality French wines without breaking the bank. From spicy Côtes du Rhône reds to crisp Muscadet whites to fruity Côtes de Provence rosés, there’s a French wine out there for every taste and occasion.
- Are French wines under 20 dollars of lower quality than more expensive wines?
Not necessarily. There are plenty of high-quality French wines available for under 20 dollars, particularly from lesser-known regions and grape varieties.
- Can I find boxed French wines that are worth drinking?
Yes, there are some high-quality boxed wines available from French producers. Look for boxed wines from reputable producers and be willing to try something new.
- What should I look for when choosing a French wine under 20 dollars?
Consider the region and grape variety, as well as your own taste preferences. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from a knowledgeable wine seller.
- Should I chill red wines like Beaujolais before serving?
It’s not necessary, but some people prefer to chill lighter red wines like Beaujolais before serving, particularly in warm weather.
- What food should I pair with Cahors red wine?
Cahors wines are full-bodied and tannic, making them a good match for hearty dishes like beef stew or roast lamb.