I am often asked about my “favorite” wine. This is an impossible question, and one that I simply can’t answer. The fact is, I taste so many delicious wines that choosing a favorite seems silly, particularly when things change from vintage to vintage.
But I do have a category recommendation that I give everyone, because it is ONE of my favorites, and that is Côtes du Rhône. Readers of L’Occasion know that I have a soft spot for these wines — I’ve covered them extensively here and in the wine media. In fact, just last year I published Côtes du Rhône: Essential French Wines. This piece is structured to help readers understand the different appellations of the region. Check that out for a refresher (and some excellent photos of my trips to southern France, if I do say so myself).
Another piece, Exploring Rhône Valley Wines from North to South, teases out the differences between segments of the valley that the Côtes du Rhône calls home. I’m linking that up through my page at Perfectly Provence, because there is related additional reading material here. This brings me to an interesting point about the Côtes du Rhône growing region, which is culturally Provence, though this sometimes confuses people because it’s unrelated to Côtes de Provence and Provence wine appellations.
As I consider my media samples for this special Winophiles event, made possible by Côtes du Rhône, I was reminded why I am so committed to these wines. This is related to satisfaction level. The variety can’t be beat, with a range of approved grapes growing in a bevy of terroirs, and there is truly something for everyone.
As mentioned above, there is a scale of quality levels, so locking down a price at any budget is doable. These wines are also available in most markets, making them accessible to consumers. And for the most part I’ve noticed that when people drink a Côtes du Rhône wine for the first time, they are impressed. Many of the finest producers craft both Cru and named villages releases as well as a regional Côtes du Rhône, granting us access to their skills and traditions at many levels up and down the pyramid.
Wines to Try
For this post I’m sampling a really compelling set of wines, which I’ll share with you here for your own exploration.
Alain Jaume Bellissime Rosé 2020 Côtes du Rhône AOC
Chateau Beauchène Blanc 2019 Côtes du Rhône AOC
Domaine Gramenon La Sagesse Rouge 2019 Côtes du Rhône AOC
Louis Bernard Rouge 2018 Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC
Domaines Les Grands Bois Cuvée Philippine 2018 Côtes du Rhône Villages Sainte Cécile AOC
Lavau La Décelle 2018 Côtes du Rhône-Villages Valréas AOC
Additional Reading About the Côtes du Rhône Environment
The French Winophiles
Join the French Winophiles group to go in all directions with Côtes du Rhône wines. We can on the first Saturday of the month at 10am central time — September 18, 2021. Find us with the hashtag #winophiles to say hello and contribute to the conversation.
Here are the articles each member of the group has planned. There are sure to be interesting social media posts to go along with these, so search up the hashtag on Instagram and Facebook too. We hope to see you there.
- Jeff from Food Wine Click! thinks we should Embrace the Base of the Côtes du Rhône Pyramid.
- Cindy of Grape Experiences suggests we Sip Wine from the Côtes-du-Rhône… then Visit the Rhône Valley.
- Cathie of Side Hustle Wino exclaims OMGigondas.
- Mel of Wining with Mel introduces us to The Wonderful World of Chapoutier in Côtes du Rhône.
- Terri of Our Good Life tells you What You Need to Know about Côtes du Rhône Wines.
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla Assembles an End of Summer Cheeseboard with Domaine Chamfort Sablet La Pause Côtes du Rhône Villages 2019.
- Robin of Crushed Grapes Chronicles talks about Côtes du Rhône & Côtes du Rhône Villages – a plethora of flavors to pair with!
- David of Cooking Chat shares Grilled Sirloin Steak and Cotes du Rhone
- Jen of Vino Travels takes us on A Journey Through the Cotes du Rhone
- Jane of Always Ravenous shares Cote du Rhone Wines: Tasting and Pairing
- Nicole of Somm’s Table says Bring on the Cotes du Rhone
- Katrina of The Corkscrew Concierge explains Why You Should be Drinking White Rhone Wines
- Linda of My Full Wine Glass introduces us to Red, white and pink-The colors of Cotes du Rhone wine
- Pinny of Chinese Food and Wine Pairings shares Cotes du Rhone and Perfect Fried Rice
- Jill of L’Occasion is Feeling Satisfied with Côtes du Rhône
- Susannah of Avvinare shares A Fresh Look at the Cote du Rhone
- Wendy from A Day in the Life on theFarm shares A month’s worth of celebrations with Cotes du Rhone.