2010 Jean-Marie Arnoux Vacqueyras

Jon’s latest goal is to try more French wines.  I have to admit, we are both a bit intimidated by French wines, because we don’t know all that much about them.  The labels are confusing, and I just wish there were a quick cheat sheet to have in my purse for when I’m at the wine shop!  Now, Spanish wines I can decipher better, thanks to all those years of high school and college Spanish, but in French, all I can say is “I am pretty”, “I am single”, and “I would like a Coca-Cola, por favor.”  And I’m not even single anymore.  And yes, my brain inserts the por favor, instead of the French equivalent.  What can I say, there were a lot of years of Spanish in there, and a study abroad in Chile!

Thanks to a couple of blogs I read, I’m learning more all the time, and Jon and I have decided that we just need to take the plunge and start trying French wines.  So, at Costco last time, Jon picked out a Vacqueyras, from Jean-Marie Arnoux, or Arnoux & Fils, depending on where on the bottle you look.  Unlike the United States, French wine is named for the region where it is produced, and each region typically only produces one type of wine.  Additionally, there is a whole hierarchy of quality that I don’t pretend to know anything about, so I’ll save that post for when I’m not so miserably uninformed.

Here’s what I do know.  This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre.  It has a nose of tobacco, earth and raspberry, and an opaque garnet color.  At first taste, you pick up berry and cedar with moderate tannins and a hint of smoke.  There is just a hint of acidity, which was a little surprising for me since Grenaches tend to be more acidic.  Overall, it was a very nice wine, and with Costco’s great $13.99 price tag, this will certainly be one that we buy again.

2010 Jean-Marie Arnoux Vacqueyras

2010 Jean-Marie Arnoux Vacqueyras

Sorry about the picture quality – those darn white labels!  I’ve got to run, so I can get working on my French wine cheat sheet!

8 thoughts on “2010 Jean-Marie Arnoux Vacqueyras

  1. All you need to do to learn about french wines is to keep drinking them – eventually you will simply know what you like and don’t like, and that’s all that matters. I also like your idea of cheat sheet – we can all use it when it comes to French or Italian wines.

    • I certainly agree! The challenge has begun! I do find one problem with French wines is that they almost all have labels with little French Chateaux on them, so I have a hard time remember which ones I have tried before (and liked). U.S. wines really focus on making distinctive labels, so it is easier for me to remember which ones I have tried and liked!

  2. Hi, thanks for this great post (and wine recommendation) — I empathize with your intimidation regarding French wines. There’s so much to know! Here’s a fun wine blog I follow that you might enjoy: http://thegrapebelt.com/. Lots of good, low-key, entertaining information. Good luck!

  3. I on the other hand, know nothing about American wine, being brought up primarily on French. I did dabble in Australian wine when I lived in Sydney, but tend to stick to European (french, spanish, italian) wines mostly, with the odd Chilean one thrown in. As I like dry I can pretty much guess by the look of a label what I will like.

    Interesting mix of topics for a blog – wine and history 🙂

    • What is it about the label that lets you know that it is dry? Do the houses on the French labels look different for dry wines? 🙂 Thanks for the comment – wine and history are two of my passions!

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