Wine and some other drinks of Tour de France 2017: Stage 8. Dole — Station des rousses

Can anyone tell who was first here? I cannot see any difference. If there ever can be a draw, with both  crossing the line at the same time, it must be this. On the other hand. Marcel Kittel had a very strong sprint, and had higher speed than Edvald Boasson Hagen. 20 cm shorter, and a clear win to Edvald Boasson Hagen, 20 cm longer, and a clear win to Marcel Kittel.

Stage 8 goes from Dole tol Staion des Rousses. It has a count down before the hard climbs tomorrow, with three climbs in this order: Third, second and first category.

After yesterday’s stage through Côte-de-Nuits, the next stage has to be anti climactic. We are going into Jura. Jura is not on the same level as Burgynd, but they make very good wines that do not get the attention they deserve.

The wine district in Jura godes from north to south, and is 2-4 km wide.

There are four geographical AOP-areas, and two wines with AOP-status. Côtes-du-Jura goes all the way from north to south. My understanding is that there is a hierarchy, with AOP Côtes-du-Jura as basic-AOP, and that the three best areas have their own AOP-status. These three are Arbois, Chateau Chalon and L’Etoile.

Today’s stage crosses Arbois, the northernmost wine district in Jura. Arbois was the first area that got AOC-status in France and is the largest of the Jura-appellations. They produce 70% rød and 30% white wine. One of my Swedish friends says that white wine from Arbois is recommended to Christmas and Easter herring.

I include two other specialities from Jura, despite that they are produced a bit further south the where today’s stage crosses the wine area. These are Vin Jaune and Vin-Paille.

A “Vin de Paille” and a “Vin Jaune” bought for Tour de France

In Chateau-Chalon they produce only Vin-Jaune (yellow wine) which is made from the grape Savagnin. This wine shall rest for at least six years in oak barrels, which are not filled to the top. It gets a flor(?) layer on the top, which protects the wine from oxydation. The wine can resemble fihno sherry. I have to admit that win jaune is not among my favourtites. On the other hand, I am no big fan of sherry either. Vin Jaune is filled on special bottles, called Clavelin which contains 62 cl. The size of the bottles is said to have been chosen to show how much wine that has disappeared during the storing. Bresse-chicken and Vin Jaune is a local combination

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Another Jura specialitity is Vin-Paille, which means “straw wine”. The grapes, which can be savagnin, chardonnay and poulsard, was traditionally dried on straw mats indoors for 2-3 months. The water evaporated, and the grapes became alomst like rasins. It gives high sugar content, and a sweet wine. Today, the use ohter material than straw for their mats, but the process is the same.

How to find the best French wines?

I could have added: The best wines in a region or in a category. When I am searching for good wine producers in France, be it to find wines along the Tour de France roue, or wines I would like to taste and maybe buy, I use three books to orient myself. There are (too) many wine producers offering wine tasting. We cannot just visit them randomly. Then we risk to taste a lot of uinteresting wines, and miss the better wines. When I visit a producer and taste their wines, I feel a pressure to buy some wine, despite that I know I can just say merci beaucoup, and leave. It is necessarry to do some research, and find the wine producers to visit. For this purpose, I use the three books. There are three books, published yearly. Now I use the 2017-editions. I always have problems deciding which is the better one, and end up buying all three. Some of the books are available in Kindle, versions, but for this kind of books, I prefer the paper versions. I have to add that these books are in French only.

Le Guide des Meilleurs vins de France

This book is published by the Wine Magazine La Revue du Vin de France. This is in practise my favourite, and the the book in which I start searching first. But I cannot say that it is better than the others

This year's edition covers  1120 producers and  6592 wines.

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Le Guide Hachette des vins

For me, this is the book I consult as number two. I have no other explanation than that this was the second of these book I got to know. It includes more wines than Le Guide des Meilleurs vins de France

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Guides des vins. Bettane + Desseauve

I started to buy this book to have all three. As it was the third book I got to know, it has become the third book I consult. But this is a habit, more than a result of critical evaluation.

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Guides to reasonably pirced wines

There are guidebooks for reasonably priced wines. I have bought a few of them, but has stopped buying them. This does not mean that I am snobbish (or rich), and only drink expensive wines. Most of the wines I am drinking is reasoably priced. Reasonable wines are not excluded from the books mentioned. If there is a resonably priced wine of high quality, you will find them in these books. But I am searching for good wines, not cheap wines. I am not trying to locate a producer because of its cheap wines. Then I choose one of the wines I find in the supermarkets when I am in France.

Some Wine Magazines

In addition to these books, I read about wine in quality newspapers back home in Norway. But I see not point in mentioning the Norwegian newspapers in this English language version. I also read regularly two French wine magazines,  La Revue du Vin de France and Terre de Vins. The latter is published in Languedoc, and has a kind of southern profile. I also read the English wine magazin Decanter.

Tour de France 2017

Tour de France
Giro d'Italia


Le guide Hachette des bières

This is a guide first and foremost, but not only to French beer. But it is a guide book to French beer this book is interesting in a Tour de France context. The authors have tested more than 1000 beers from 300 breweries. They have used a scale from 0 to 5. 0 is faulty beer. 1 is mediocre. These beers have not been included in the book. Level 2 are mentioned without a star. 3 to 5 are awarded 1, 2 or 3 stars. Dette er en guide først og fremst,

The book is not published every year. The most recent edition is from 2016.

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Tour de France 2018


Tour de France
Giro d'Italia





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