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Bastille Day: Affordable French wines to celebrate with

Affordable wines to celebrate Bastille Day.

Affordable wines to celebrate Bastille Day. Credit: iStock

Liberty, equality, fraternity — and wine, too.

Celebrate Bastille Day with French wines. You don’t have to find that 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, either. Or even the 1990 Romanee-Conti.

For a light charmer, try the 2014 Clos Laurent Saumur Rouge ($13), an easygoing, fruity choice from the central Loire. The 2012 Opi D’Aqui Les Faineants ($12), a blend of mourvedre and grenache, delivers a note of blackberry. Both go with roast chicken.

Very summery, very fruity and of the moment: the 2015 Caves D’Esclans Sacha Lichine Whispering Angel ($22), a cheerful, peachy Cotes de Provence rose that will be a popular pool-side sipper.

The 2014 M. Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem ($28) uncorks as a full-bodied union of syrah, grenache, and carignane. Juicy, plummy, and versatile, it shows off plenty of blackberry, too. Enjoy it with grilled beef, hamburgers, steak au poivre, sausages.

Chateau Lassegue in Saint-Emilion offers the ruby-red 2012 Les Cadrans de Lassegue ($35). It’s a second label wine better than a lot of first labels. Berries, spice, balance, all lead to a long finish. The wine is 90 percent merlot, 7 percent cabernet franc, 3 percent cabernet sauvignon, and 100 percent ready for red meat, from grilled beef to roast lamb. Sample it with tuna or salmon, too.

And to get the party started, rely on bubbles. The non-vintage Champagne Forget-Brimont Brut Premier Cru ($45) is a dry, elegant sparkler, slightly floral. It will make a fine toast. And it’s a match for appetizers, spicy Asian dishes, and shellfish. Sante.


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