September is synonymous with the Annual Autumn French Wine Sales (Foire aux Vins), when French families stock up their wine cellars at a discount, and large French supermarket chains crank out over 25% of their yearly wine business in a few short weeks. Here’s how to get in on the action.
The biggest sellers for restocking cellars are bottles in the 5-8€ range, but the deals are deep on all price ranges thanks to bulk buying and margin cutting by the big supermarket chains. The choices can be overwhelming however, especially since each store displays around 800 labels, and the supermarket sales people usually have no clue. Luckily, there are several sites that give recommendations store-by-store, including this fantastic and extensive grid from Hachette Vins and this quick cheat sheet from In Good Wine We Trust.
Some tips: Don’t forget that most supermarket chains offer free home delivery with purchases over a certain amount (and this would be the time to take advantage of that offer!), otherwise, bring your own boxes/cloth bags. Do your research… the best deals on expensive wines fly out of the store on the first day, so check out the mailed or on-line catalogs in advance and make your plan (…and each store’s dates vary, so even once it has started you can usually still get in on the first day for Auchan, Leclerc, Systeme U, and Carrefour Markets). And as a last resort, look for wines that were bottled at the Chateau (as opposed to collectively), and keep in mind that these were “very good years”:
- Wines from Provence 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009
- Red Bourgognes 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010
- Red Bordeaux 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010
See Related Guide Pages:
- Best Wine Bars in Nice
- Food Finds in the Old Town: Wine
- Giant Weekend Wine Tasting in February
- Le Beaujolais Nouveau!
- Ever Dreamed of Being a Grape Picker?
Back up to main Events in September page
Photo credit: Wine Shopping by Best of Nice Blog