The Drinking Person’s Guide to France

September 19, 2014

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France is famous as the home of many of the finer things in life, and it seems that alcohol is no exception to this. But where should a booze-savvy tourist head to in order to find the best that France has to offer? Well, let’s find out!

It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it…

Burgundy

Located right in the heart of the nation, the Burgundy region is fittingly the home of some of France’s most famous exports with some of the finest French food and drink grown and reared here. Burgundy’s most famous export is wine, with the region home to some of the most famous wines in the world, including Pinot Noir, Chablis and Chardonnay, among others. As well as producing affordable-yet-quality wines, the region also makes some of the most expensive wines in the world, including the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti which can sell for over $40,000 per bottle!

Bordeaux

As one of the biggest cities in the south of France, Bordeaux is one of the most popular destinations for wine tourists in the world.

Head to the city’s vineyards and see any of the region’s many famous wines being made as part of a wine tour, or come in the summer for the Bordeaux Wine Festival which includes a 2km wine route, shows, concerts and other special events.

Normandy

Normandy’s Pays d’Auge is home to the famous Cider Route (Route du Cidre), where orchards and meadows line the roadsides, growing the apples for the French ciders. The apples come in four varieties, bitter, sweet-bitter, sweet and acidic, with all four creating different kinds of cider.

Normandy’s distilleries offer tours and tasting, so you can sample the delightful tipple about as fresh as it can get! What’s more, all of these distilleries and many more are all within just a short drive of DFDS Seaways ports in Dieppe and Le Havre.

Paris

One of Paris, and France’s, most famous drinks is the infamous Green Fairy, perhaps more commonly known as absinthe.

Despite, or perhaps because of, being banned by the French government in 1915, absinthe has remained a vital part of underground, urban Parisian life and is referenced in literature, theatre and film about the city.
Head to Vert d’Absinthe, a booze-boutique in the Marais for a selection of quality absinthes, and the first shop of its kind in the city. For a bar with a range of absinthes to try, you could do much worse than Cantada II, just off Boulvard de Belleville, and tucked away from most tourists.

This year, Paris also held its first ever Craft Beer festival, which was a huge success and is planned again for next year. The festival occurs late in May and carries on until early June, featuring a selection of independently-brewed beers from all over Europe.

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