So, just to be clear we all know that most of our hangovers are down to just generally getting a little bit pour-happy right? BUT, one thing that I have discovered in my old age is that there are certain rules that lessen the evil. Read on to discover my top tips for Low Hangover French Wine drinking…
Above : giving it my best Keith Floyd…
A crisp rosé wine with Moules on the beach, a deep red with a Steak et Frites or a lovely dry white with Chicken Salad, I LOVE wine, especially French wine! However, while I love the taste, as I’ve got older, my endurance has become pretty poor and even if I don’t feel like I’ve drunk too much the evening before, I have woken up on more occasions than I’d care to imagine with THE worst stuffy nose and headache EVER. Why? Well probably something to do with me not following my own advice.
Here’s my tips on enjoying the grape juice without the nasty side effects….
1 Choose a Burgundy Wine.
Whether it’s a red Pinot Noir or a Sparkling Rosé, the process of making Bourgogne wine is one of the oldest and simplest in France. I find that these are top drawer wines generally speaking and on the whole don’t give you that nasty tight forelock if you get a bit carried away.
That’s a lot to do with the quality of the wine, even here in France the difference between a Bourgogne Wine and a Pays D’Oc can be yards apart which is evident in the price too. What I’m noticing more and more is that many ready to drink French wines in the lower price range are a blend of grapes and often these have a high sulfite content to preserve it which can equate to a humdinger of a headache. Equally some of these wines from hotter regions can be far higher in alcohol too.
Apparently Burgundy wines have the perfect cooler climate to grow in, keeping the alcohol content lower generally and with the ideal mineral combination in the soil for grapes, many believe it the best wine overall. Other cooler wine areas might also be worth exploring based on this theory like Alsace for example.
What to Try….
Look out for Chardonnays and Pinot Noir, which are probably some of the best known but also The Cremant de Bourgogne which is a fabulous fizz and a cheaper alternative to champagne.
2 Add Ice.
I know this sounds incredibly naff but I have noticed in our restaurant that French people ALWAYS add ice cubes to rosé. It adds a little extra hydration to the drink and keeps it nice and fresh and makes a glass last longer. No need to go for the whole 80s spritzer!!!! Unless you like it of course ❤️.
That said, any wine buff will tell you that if you drink Burgundy whites in particular, they should never be drunk too cold to fully appreciate the flavour. I have to agree. A friend and I opened a room temperature champagne a few years ago ( at 2am 😱) and marveled at the taste when it wasn’t icy cold. My advice would be to only ever add ice to cheaper wines and never in front of a sommelier!
3 WATER , WATER, WATER.
Obvious but alternate your drinks with water to stop you getting dehydrated, especially if you’re on holiday in France and not used to the very dry, hot weather. Finding yourself with sunstroke and a hangover is not much fun at all and can make you very sick indeed. Keep a bottle of water to yourself to sip at all day and make sure you have extra if you drink wine with your evening meal.
4 Easy on the Apéros
Some of my worst wine mistakes have come from having too many pre dinner drinks. Cue singing and dancing, not eating said dinner and waking up feeling like I’ve been trampled on by a herd of goats. Don’t have too many before your evening dinner. End of.
5 Same Grape
Even if you’re going to indulge in a big evening eating lots of different courses and indulging in different coloured wines, if you try to stick to the same grape all should go well! In theory anyway! Switching from one region to another is fine if you are only having a small glass of each but if you risk going overboard, far better to stick to the same variety in my book. Be wary also of wines with a lot of added sulfites, these can contribute to that stuffy nose feeling in the morning as apparently some people can have sulfite allergies.
Finally, do you know that there are certain wines that really are made for laying down for a year or two, or ten? If you are interested in becoming a bit more educated in the way of wine then you will almost certainly need somewhere to create your own wine cave, that way you can learn about, collect and store wine as you build your knowledge.
What’s your favourite tipple? Santé X