Red and Rosé Wines


Cabernet Franc: Produces the best reds (Chinon, Touraine and Anjou) from light and fruity to full bodied, with great depth and longevity.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Mostly grown for blending.

Gamay: Produces light, fruity wines, red and rosé, but not as good as Beaujolais.

Groslot: For the local light and fruity rosé, which is drunk in cafés and bars.

Pinot Noir: Grown mainly for red Sancerre.


Regions and Styles

Anjou Rouge: Light, earthy and fruity, drink youngish.

Anjou Rouge Gamay: Very drinkable, light and fruity.

Anjou Villages: A new AC covering the best reds. Drink youngish.

Bourgueil: Slightly harsh and earthy when young but mature into refreshing, fruity, sharp wines. Cabernet d'Anjou: Upmarket rosé, dryish and full of fruit and flavour.

Chinon: Full flavour of currants and berries, ripe, earthy red, a hint of violets. Fun when young but ages well.

Rose d\Anjou: Can be light, fresh and fruity but often lacks fruit.

Rosé de Loire: Dryish and fruity. Drink young.

Sancerre Rouge: Light-bodied, but the best are fragrant and full of fruit.

Saumur Rouge: Pleasant, fruity and refreshing when young. Softens, mellows and develops more body. Saumur-Champigny: Better than the above, with more intense fruit.

St.Nicolas de Bourgueil: Light, earthy and usually better than Bourgueil.

Touraine: Easy drinking, light, fruity reds. Drink young and chilled.


White Wines


Chardonnay: Becoming more popular, especially in Haut-Poitou.

Chenin Blanc: The main white variety in Anjou. High in acidity and sugar when ripe, produces good crisp, fresh peachy whites, still and sparkling, and delicious long lasting dessert wines.

Melon de Bourgogne (Muscadet): Low acidity, youthful, light, easy-drinking wine.

Sauvignon Blanc: For Pouilly, Sancerre and Touraine, for aromatic, dry, sharp, grassy, fruity thirst quenchers.


Regions and Styles

Anjou Blanc: Dry, easy drinking, earthy flavours and hints of honeysuckle.

Bonnezeaux: Soft and fruity, sweet whites. Age well.

Coteaux de L'Aubance: Mostly light, fruity and medium sweet. Will age.

Coteaux du Layon: Good value, medium sweet to sweet, honeyed, nutty and long lasting).

Cremant de Loire: Soft, balanced sparkling wine. Drink young.

Gros Plant: Local grape producing light, very sharp wine. Drink young and ideally with seafood. Menetou-Salon: Light, fruity, flowery, aromatic Sauvignon best drunk young.

Montlouis: Dry and sweet wines. Fruity and with great longevity.

Muscadet: Diy and crisp with high acidity. Needs good fruit for balance. Drink young.

Muscadet de Sevre-et-Maine: The best Muscadets. Bigger, nutty and creamy .

Muscadet des Coteaux de la Loire: Somewhere between the two above.

Muscadet sur lie: Muscadet held on the lees for more freshness, fruit and flavour.

Pouilly-Fume: Classy, smoky, fruity, flinty and dry. Drink youngish.

Pouilly sur Loire: Best drunk locally with food. Made from Chasselas.

Quarts de Chaume: Expensive but magnificent, long lasting, luscious desserts.

Quincy: Dry Sancerre-style but cheaper. Drink young.

Reuilly: Light and fruity, often austere. Drink young.

Sancerre: At its best crisp, fragrant, fresh and full of flavour (gooseberries). Drink young.

Saumur: Methode champenoise, refreshing, crisp and acidic. Drink young.

Savennières: Dry and dull when young, but honeyed and rounded when aged.

Tour aine: Aromatic and fruity, crisp and grassy. Drink young.

Vouvray: Still and sparkling from dry to sweet. Young wines appear dry because of high acidity, but they become honeyed and rounded with age.