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Everything you always wanted to know about wine but never dared to ask

The holiday season is approaching and your best friend has become a wine fanatic. For the past few months, he or she has been flirting with wine lover communities on the Web. We heckle and the smiley faces the whole world. To drink more clearly, choose your guide.

Almost everything has already been said about wine guides. While Robert Parker has established himself as the leader of reference guides for Bordeaux wines, others have taken their place and taken over in France. And these are renewed every year with tips. They are redoubling their comments, rankings and discoveries. This niche is as much a source of emulation as it is of envy. Digital technology is not short of breath to compete with them. From the rather classic pillars to the more audacious and curious, evaluation methods are diversifying.

The pillars

In France, three guides are competing for the top spot. The guide to Wines of France published by the monthly magazine of the same name. The famous green guide selects 6,500 wines in its 2019 edition. Launched in 1996, the guide of La Revue des Vins de France aims to present the best of French wines. But there is also an inventory of organic and biodynamic vintages. Following the example of the red guide to gastronomy launched by the Michelin brothers in 1900, the estates are classified into starred families

Couv. GV 2019

At Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve, the 2019 edition, which lists the best wines in France, offers a glimpse into the world's wines. Not stupid since the share of foreign wines in mass distribution now reaches 7% in volume against 2% a few years ago (source IRI). Translated into Chinese, the guide serves as a support for the public exhibitions of the Bettana brand + desseauve in France and Asia. In addition, the authors have developed a digital offer of 110,000 wines rated with the Grand Tasting application. The guide would reference 12,500 wines to date.

GuideDesVins_BettaneEtDesseauve_2019_Couv_HD

The publication of these two guides as well as the Hachette guide is scheduled for publication at the end of August in preparation for wine fairs. So many references still imply a little consumerism. The Hachette guide gives a well ranked view of the wines of France. Its selection is based on the tastings of 1500 tasters who award 500 favourites. And this with symbols rather than notes. Its selection amounts to 10,000 wines.

Currently, none of these guides does not hesitate to mention a choice of organic wines. However, few organic wines participate in the wine fairs of the major brands. Their distribution channel being separate. It also publishes a guide to good wine tips for less than 15 euros for the most broke or uncomplicated of you.

The bold ones

However, not all guides advocate taste, ranking and rating. After all, winegrowers are no longer children. And neither do wine consumers! If the criteria of excellence and transparency are to be combined, the Wine and Health Guide is an eye-catcher.

vins et santé

Unusually, it appears in April. Prefaced by François d'Haene, the winegrower and winner of the 2018 diagonal of madmen in Reunion Island, the guide Vin et Santé presents only 300 wines. It is therefore distinguished not by volume but by value.

Well aware that the wine lover wants to know more about the quality and drinkability of the wines, the selection is made according to analyses. Thus all the wines in the guide display zero pesticides. The author of the biodynamic wine guide Evelyne Malnic participates in the selections with other tasters.

Designed by Professor Christian Cabrol (1925-2017), cardiac surgeon, this wine guide is now used by Adrien Tréchot. A totally up-to-date recovery. Relooked, the guide indicates the nutritional value of the wines chosen. It has the advantage of an imaginative, simple and playful reading, which is therefore educational. The selection is made according to three remarkable criteria:

  • the concentration of polyphenols
  • the sulphur dioxide content
  • the absence of pesticide residues

In the Carité des vignerons bio et biodynamiques guide, attention is paid to French wines and those from neighbouring countries. The 2019/2020 edition lists total or free doses of SO2. It specifies the type of harvest and the quality of the yeasts. Founded by Jean-Marc Carité, the guide is now co-written by his daughter Lilas Carité. It has the merit of arguing the theme of organic wines, with regulation and reflection in support.

Guide Carité 2019-2020 couv.

On the side of so-called live or natural wines, a new little one is emerging. Signed Antonin Iommi-Amunategui and Jérémie Couston, the Glou Guide offers 150 natural wines for a maximum of 15 euros. Because wine is not only for the rich! A 200-page edition only, when the pillars of the genre total 900 to 1500 pages. And this time, we're talking about a new taste of wine with a good franquette!

Glou Guide_COUV

While most develop a digital offer, others do not bother with a paper edition to get started. On the Web, another daring sleeps in the vivino.com site With 31 million users, Vivino intends to become the world's wine guide. Translated into 7 languages, the participative site is also placed on the side of Anglo-Saxon and international critics with experts such as Jancis Robinson, Robert Parker, Decanter or Wine Enthusiast cited as references.

More information:

Christelle Zamora

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