While celebrating with a French wine is de rigueur, I thought it might be interesting to take a dive into what the average 18th century French person might have been imbibing.
The web site Life in a Medieval Castle: Medieval Drinks, while perhaps a tad off chronologically, nonetheless states that the best wines were reserved for the upper classes, while “common folk” had to make do with basic white or rose
And, in Economic and Social Conditions in France During the Eighteenth Century, by Henri Sée, Professior at University of Rennes and translated by Edwin H. Zeydel, the author calls out Languedoc as a region where grape growing flourished.
So let’s put two and two together: Since the region is home to red, white and rosé wines, it makes the perfect focus for our list! Here are some great Languedoc wines to try; prices are based on a national average.
Laurent Miquel Chardonnay-Viognier: Light and clean, with rich flavors of apricot and white fruit. $10
Gaujal de Saint Bon Picpoul de Pinet Cuvée des Dames: Made with the picpoul grape, believed to be native to Languedoc, this crisp, clean wine has notes of melons, citrus and hay with a slightly piquant quality. $12
Gerard Bertrand Côte de Roses Rosé: An easy-drinking, fruity wine made with grenache, cinsault and syrah. The wine is fresh with flavors of flowers, cassis and a touch of citrus. $15
Puech-Haut Tête de Belier Rosé: Primarily mourvèdre, this wine is luscious and rich, with flavors of cherry, melon and spice. $34
Chateau Paul Max Clos des Mures: This syrah-grenache-mourvèdre blend is ripe with purple fruit flavors and notes of spice and pepper. A richly textured wine. $19
Domaine Leon Barral Faugeres: This wine is biodynamically farmed and crafted with grenache grapes. Expect a minerally wine, with lots of red fruit flavor. $36
A votre santé!
Image is from “The Storming of the Bastille” by Jean-Pierre Houël