A classic and practical station, great for visiting restaurants


The Rhône covers a large area of central/Southern France and works in a complex but easy-when-you-know-how hierarchy. It splits into North and South and here we mean the South. What you need to know is that Côtes du Rhône is the catchall name for wines made across the region, and then certain areas are allowed to call their wines after their villages like Gigondas or Vacqueyras. This means that they have a more individual style and tend to be more premium. Rhône wines are invariably Syrah, Grenache blends but villages like Châteauneuf du Pape (which is in the Rhône) can have up to 13 different grapes. In the main the wines are spicy, intense and fruity, with the more premium wines tending to have a bit more bite and tannin meaning they need to be drunk with some food to soften off the tannins.

Things you should know

Top Tip: Wines from the Rhône are good, safe bets in restaurants. They are versatile to eat with and don't tend to be too pricey. So if you're not sure, the Rhône might just be the answer.
Specific Food Match: Like so much of this section of the map, these wines are pretty versatile to eat with. I think of the Côtes du Rhône wines as great midweek family wines; sausages, pies, burgers, mince and mash all work well. And the more premium wines are great with meaty casseroles, mushroom ragout or lamb steaks.
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