Drink...

In his fi­nal col­umn of the year, Richard Hem­ming rec­om­mends three of his favourite wines that would make great gifts or be the per­fect ac­com­pa­ni­ment to a fes­tive feast

Living France - - À La Maison -

THE PER­FECT CASE, PART 13

Over the last 12 is­sues of Liv­ing France, I have rec­om­mended a dozen wines that rep­re­sent some of the most iconic – and ex­pen­sive – names in French wine. There was one Cham­pagne, two red Bordeaux, a red and white Bur­gundy, two whites from the Loire and two reds from the Rhône, one Beau­jo­lais, one Al­sa­tian and one Sauternes.

If you had bought all of them, it would have cost over £15,000, which is more than most of us would spend on wine in a life­time! How­ever, I also rec­om­mended some of the best-value equiv­a­lents, which would have cost £160 for the case. At around £13 per bot­tle, that’s still dou­ble the UK av­er­age price, but I do think it rep­re­sents ex­cel­lent value.

For my last col­umn in this se­ries, I’m go­ing to rec­om­mend the three wines I think are the most com­pelling buys – and try to con­vince you why they’re worth the money.

The first ar­gu­ment says that be­cause UK ex­cise duty is a fixed cost, you get far more qual­ity when you spend more. In a £5 bot­tle, less than 40 pence goes on the grapes; but at £10 per bot­tle, that rises to £2.75. So spend­ing twice the price gets you seven times the qual­ity. The sec­ond ar­gu­ment ap­peals to your heart. Wine is a unique re­flec­tion of the peo­ple, the place and the time that cre­ate it. Noth­ing else can cap­ture the spirit of an ori­gin so com­pletely – and so de­li­ciously – and France is the ab­so­lute mas­ter of that craft.

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