Our tips for a successful wine fair


Wine fairs have also become fairs. Large areas, hard-discount, online sales sites … for two months, thirty brands will compete for the favor of the general public, which plebiscite more than ever this traditional meeting during which will flow more than 50 millions of bottles, two-thirds of which are red.

These big sellers, which can represent up to 25% of the annual turnover of the wine department of a hyper or a supermarket, are they always the opportunity to find beautiful bottles at low prices? "The period when we could find Bordeaux classified crus at sacrificed prices is over, meets Thierry Desseauve. But the wine fairs have reinvented themselves with a quality offer covering all French production at prices ranging from 5 to 20 euros on average. "

The trend: fruity and organic wines

To attract a younger and more feminine clientele, the banners play on the diversity of origins, and on new trends. "The fashion is southern wines round, greedy, the taste of ripe fruit without the slightest trace of acidity, such as the Côtes-du-Rhône, and of course organic wines, details Thierry Desseauve. The taste of the day also goes to New World wines, Cabernet Chileans or Argentinean Malbec, and sparkling wines that surf on the success of Proseco popularized by the Spritz. "

Consequence, Auchan, Carrefour or System U line up on the order of a thousand references each, and that, without counting the hundreds of bottles put forward by online wine merchants. Difficult for the layperson to navigate.

First advice: "The best is to learn," says Thierry Desseauve. In addition to specialized guides, there are apps that classify and score wines. Let's mention, vivino.com, the Grand Tasting, Wineadvisor or Wines & Vintages, the app of the Hachette wine guide.

Second tip of our expert, "read the labels carefully". They must include the legal information (volume, alcoholometric, name of the bottler, sugar content …), the name of the estate or the castle and the appellation. "PDOs mean that the wine meets a specific specification, but we must not discard the IGP and the wines of France where we can also find excellent producers. "

Our tips for a successful wine fair

"The name of the winemaker must appear on the label, underlines Thierry Desseauve, he must be proud of his wine. So, if a label does not mention any name, but a simple postal code, go your way. "

Do not be fooled by the mentions

And as the medals and rankings in first growth or grand cru can be useful, as much must be wary as the plague of mentions, more or less far-fetched, such as "great wine", "fine wine", etc. Similarly, the labels awarded to organic wines (AB or Ecoert) simply indicate a production method.

Finally, third tip of the co-author of the wine guide Bettane and Desseauve, "do not trust the mentions old vines or aged in oak barrels which indicate the way of raising a wine, but are absolutely no guarantee of quality. If you are not an enlightened connoisseur, refer to recent vintages, or even Bordeaux classified wines that have a justified reputation as a wine of guard. " Good tasting !

Bettane + Desseauve Wine Guide, 2020, Flammarion, 960 pages, 24.90 euros.

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