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
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.