Little known grapes from the South of France—

Aaaah, the South of France. Beaches, jazz, Roman ruins… Papa and Nicole. And for wine there are endless corners of grandeur. There are buckets of rosé from Provence, of course, but with quirky blends from lesser-known grapes and famous appellations boasting attractive price tags, it pays to shop around.

Ventoux, a region bordering the Rhône and Provence, is awash with bargains. Reds are great but snap the scarcer whites. Clairette is one of the grapes in this canny blend, which on its own also produces easy-drinking whites as well as fine fizz. As for reds, sunshine abounds and creative Languedoc blends are packed with full-flavoured ripeness.

To single out one appellation, pick from the sunny vineyards of Faugères – their red blends are packed with divine flavours as deep as the Med. Dive in.


SAY IT WITH FLOWERS: Ventoux Blanc 2018 (13%) £5.99 Aldi. Sheer refreshment wreathed in a garland of honeysuckle.

DEPTH CHARGE: Taste the Difference Languedoc Rouge 2018 (13.5%) £7 Sainsbury’s. Brilliantly balanced with depth and fruit.

GREAT WHITE WITH BITE: Vinus by Paul Mas Clairette 2017 (12.5%) £8.25 Morrisons. Zesty, rich and gently exotic, this white is mega.

CHERRY OH BABY!: Finest Faugères 2018 (13.5%) £9* Tesco. Scented and fragrant as black cherry, fulsome & fab. *On offer at £7.50 until 9th Sept.


Château Capitoul 2017 (13%) £8 Co-op. Powerful as a blackcurrant, as big as a balloon and stunning with steak.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 12th August 2019