French wine can be intimidating. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Châteauneuf du Pape, the names tell you very little about what is inside the bottle at first glance. On top of that, many of these wines have an equally intimidating price tag.
BUT, some of the tastiest, food friendly, approachable, and inexpensive wines can come from France. If you are armed with a little bit of info, you can discover a whole new world of wine.
Let's start with Bordeaux. Some of the greatest wines in the world come from this region. There are also simple, delicious, and inexpensive wines from this region for any day or occasion drinking.Bordeaux (or "Claret" as the English call it) is usually made up of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc (depending on where in Bordeaux it is from). These pretty little wines pair well with red sauce, steaks, pizza, and hard cheeses. You can find several entry level Bordeaux wines for $10 - $15.
For a nice change of pace, you could also give a white Bordeaux a try. A white Bordeaux is made from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes and are fresh, bright, and silky. These wines pair well with lighter fare, young cheeses, seafood, and garlic dishes.
On to the Rhone Valley in the South of France; specifically, Cotes du Rhone. Cotes du Rhone is a region located right in the sunny, herb-scented, lavender strewn Mediterranean. Made from a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and Mourvedre, these wines can range from spicy and sultry to soft and supple dark fruity flavors. Cotes du Rhone wines are incredibly versatile and food friendly and can pair well with chicken wings, ribs, pork, BBQ, tacos, and garlic dishes. You can find many tasty Southern Rhone wines for under $20!
If you're feeling adventurous, try a Rose Cotes du Rhone. Pretty, light, with a touch of fruit, rose from Rhone is refreshing and delicious.
These are just a couple examples of some more approachable wines from France. I hope this may guide you to try some new wines and maybe even discover a few new favorites.