I think nothing of spending €60 on a bottle of wine in a restaurant. But that isn’t to say I don’t like a bargain too – like a wine that comes in at €1.65 a bottle.
Then last year, I became a French Wine Scholar. So, it’s fair to say my knowledge du vin français is strong.
But I still enjoy quaffing a less expensive wine during the week. Which is why I was delighted when our friend Jenny introduced us to the Vignoble des Verdots in Conne de Labarde, a few kilometres south of Bergerac.
Wines from the south west of France don’t carry the same cachet – or price tag – as wines from elsewhere in France. That’s largely because the wine makers of Bordeaux froze them out of international trade from the city.
Yet the wine styles from these neighbouring regions are very similar. Which means a wine from Bergerac is often a good buy if you are after a bargain bottle.
That’s even more the case (no pun intended) if you buy wine en vrac – or bag in bottle, as the French sometimes call it. I think that’s a linguistic way of distancing themselves from cheap plonk.
At the Vignoble des Verdots, if they produce more wine than they can bottle under the appellation controlée rules, they box it.
“A wine from Bergerac is often a good buy if you are after a bargain bottle”
We have been buying our wine from them for years now. I suspected that they had come to recognise the sight of two rather stylish gentlemen pulling up in a sports car outside the château every few months.
So, when we were there a couple of weeks back, I dared to ask for their loyalty card. It gives you €3 off a 10-litre box of wine.
“Certainement,” the young woman behind the counter said without hesitation.
So, now we’re paying €22 for 10 litres of everyday drinking wine. That works out at €1.65 a bottle.
It just goes to show: if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I’ll drink to that.