Châteaumeillant wine tours, Loire, France

Châteaumeillant wine: the perfect Christmas dinner pairing

With only a few days to go until Christmas Day, if you’re still searching for the perfect wine to go with your turkey, Châteaumeillant’s finest may be just what you’re after.

The wonderfully fruity aromas that Châteaumeillant wine is known for, together with the fact that this region tends to produce lighter, more easy-drinking reds, means that wine from this tiny French AOC goes really well with white meats, such as Turkey.

Handily, Châteaumeillant’s reds also make the ideal aperitif, so you can enjoy the same wine right through from your fancy Christmas nibbles to the main event. The versatility of the wines from this area is great when you’re hosting a big group, as it means you can just shop for a few bottles (or more!) of just a couple of different wines.

On a slightly different note, there’s nothing better than playing a little game of ‘guess the wine’ with your nearest and dearest. Simply cover the bottles of a few different wines with wrapping paper (leave the top open so you can still pour) and provide all players with a list of the wines you’ll be trying, together with some wine tasting notes – then see if the players can correctly identify each one!

Finally, we’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas and we look forward to some more wine-based adventures with you all in 2019!



Wine tastings and wine tour Paris Day Trip

This summer’s must-have apéritif: the Kir Berrichon

When you come to France, whether you’re taking a wine tour around the Loire Valley or skiing in the Alps, you will no doubt want to take part in the wonderful French tradition of apéritif (or apéro for short).

If you are not familiar with this daily French ritual, apéro simply means pre-dinner drinks. With a few nibbles, of course.

One French author famously called it the evening prayer of the French. And it really is the perfect way to relax and unwind with friends or family, before you start your evening meal.

Here in Le Berry, the apéro tradition still reigns strong. But as well the more traditional glasses of rosé gris or sparkling wine, the locals have a delicious local speciality apéro drink called the Kir Berrichon.

If you want to try this tasty tipple and bring a little bit of Le Berry chez vous, then why not try our simple recipe?

Make your own Kir Berrichon with Châteaumeillant red wine

Serves: 8 people (or 6 if you want larger glasses!)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 x bottle of Châteaumeillant red wine (the Gamay and Pinot Noir grapes used to make this area’s fruity, light reds, make this wine the perfect apéro), chilled
  • A few splashes of crème de mûre (a blackberry liqueur), around 30ml per glass


Chill your red wine for a few hours beforehand. Although it may seem a little unusual to drink cold red wine, Châteaumeillant reds work wonderfully well as a refreshing summer apéro and make a fun change to the more traditional rosé gris on a hot summer’s day.

Take eight wine glasses and pour a splash of crème de mûre into each. How much you put in, depends on personal taste. Start with a little – you can always add more!

Divide your Châteaumeillant red wine between the eight glasses and serve with a few bouchons de chèvre (little wine-cork-shaped goats cheese pieces that are perfect for apéros) from the local market. If you can’t get your hands on these little delicacies, you could chop up a full-sized goat’s cheese instead.


Why not come to Le Berry and try some of this area’s delicious wine and cheese?

Goûts du Berry offers half and full day wine tasting tours around Châteaumeillant. If you want to discover some other vineyards in the Berry region, we also offer day trips to Sancerre, Quincy and Reuilly.

Fancy something a little different? Get in touch about our Bespoke Tours and for that extra special break in the French countryside, we also offer a luxury Wine and Food Adventure in partnership with a local château.

3 reasons why Châteaumeillant wine is so special

If you are visiting the centre of France, a vineyard tour around Châteaumeillant should be on your ‘must do’ list. But why should you spend your hard-earned cash on a winery tour around this relatively unknown AOC? Here are just some of the reasons why visiting Châteaumeillant’s vineyards should not be missed…

1) Châteaumeillant is full of smaller, family-run vineyards

One of the best things about visiting Châteaumeillant is that it is jam-packed full of smaller family-run vineyards, which means that you will get to meet the people who actually make the wine. Not their PR or marketing manager. But the people whose livelihood it is to grow the vines and turn the grapes into our favourite drink.

One of the other positives about visiting smaller, family-run producers, is that things that have been automated by other, larger winemakers, are still done in the traditional way, making for a much more interesting visit.

2) The history of Châteaumeillant is fascinating

We may be biased, but we think that Châteaumeillant has one of the most intriguing histories of any French wine producing area, bar none.

Only a couple of years ago, another 2,000 year old cellar filled with amphores was unearthed, the like of which has reportedly never been found anywhere else in Europe. The great mystery surrounding why these amphores were there and indeed why they were kept intact instead of being recycled and used as something else (like paving material) still remains unanswered today.

3) On a vineyard tour you will get to discover this area’s delicious rosé gris

We know we are always banging on about Châteaumeillant rosé gris, but we promise you that when you taste it, you will understand. With wonderfully dry with fruity, almost zingy notes, Châteaumeillant’s rosé gris will go perfectly with everything from a BBQ to a pizza and is absolutely the perfect drink to enjoy on a hot summer’s day.

Taking a Châteaumeillant winery tour is the best way to find your favourite producer (we bet you’ll struggle!) as you will be tasting a range of different wines, including Châteaumeillant’s light and fruity reds (we’ll let you into a little secret here – they make a wonderful Kir Berrichonne – check out our next week’s blog for a recipe for this!).

Want to go on a Châteaumeillant wine tasting tour?

Goûts du Berry offers half and full day wine tasting tours around Châteaumeillant. If you want to discover some other vineyards of the Berry region, we also offer day trips to Sancerre, Quincy and Reuilly.

Fancy something a little different? Get in touch about our Bespoke Tours and for that extra special break in the French countryside, we also offer a luxury Wine and Food Adventure in partnership with a local château.

Châteaumeillant wine tours, Loire Valley, France, Wine tours and tastings, Sancerre, Quincy and Reuilly plus Paris day trips

Why tasting rosé is a must on a summer wine tour

There’s no question about it. A summer wine tour has to include rosé.

Sales of rosé wine are positively booming. Some believe this is due to its more accessible image compared to white or red wine. Others put it down to how tempting its tones of pink look in a wonderful, summery Instagram shot.

Or maybe it’s just because nothing can beat a good glass of chilled rosé as a summertime apéritif.

Now, we’ll let you into a little secret. Here at Goûts du Berry, we love to drink rosé all year round. Whether we are lounging in front of a roaring log fire in the winter or sitting at a pavement café in a sun-drenched French village on market day in the summer, watching the world go by, rosé is our drink of choice.

Luckily for us, we are based in Le Berry, where some of France’s most delicious rosé is made. Yes, you guessed it, it’s Châteaumeillant’s delectable rosé gris.

Here are just some of the reasons why tasting rosé as part of your wine tour is essential.

Wine tours are great for tasting rosé wines that aren’t available for sale elsewhere

One of the best things about going on a wine tour is that you get to taste rosé wines that you simply can’t buy in your local supermarket.

Many winemakers produce wine on much too small a scale to send their wines to large retailers. A wine tour will give you the opportunity to taste wines that you may have otherwise missed out on.

Rosé goes great with brunch

This may seem a bit random but bear with us.

Being on holiday gives you the opportunity to have a break from the normal routine and take your time over your meals (on a side note, it’s fine to sit so long over breakfast that it actually turns into lunch – right?). Brunch is a frankly genius invention that is perfect to take your time over in the French sunshine.

And the good news is that rosé goes amazingly well with brunch, particularly with eggs.

So next time you’re on a wine tour on your holidays, why not pick up a bottle of rosé and enjoy it with your brunch the next day? We promise you won’t be disappointed. Which brings us neatly to our next point…

Rosé will never disappoint you

We’ve all been there. We’re about to head back home from our holiday, only to realise that there’s no way we can leave without buying a bottle or two of the local tipple to take back and share with our family and friends.

But what tasted so amazing when you were watching the sunset on a warm summer’s evening abroad, no longer tastes anything like you remember when you get it back to Blighty.

Rosé, on the other hand, will never, ever disappoint. Whether you’re drinking it whilst picnicking amongst the vines where the grapes grew or during a cold, November evening with friends at home, it is going to taste just as good. Why? Because rosé is simply delicious. Wherever, whenever.

Discover Chateaumeillant’s rosé gris…

There’s nothing nicer than spending a day with friends on a wine tour in France discovering the local tipple.

At Goûts du Berry, we offer wine tours around Châteaumeillant, where you can discover what makes this little-known AOC’s wines so wonderful.

We now also offer day trips to Sancerre, Quincy and Reuilly.

If you want to make a weekend of it, our French Wine and Food Adventure makes the perfect mini break. And with flights from London Gatwick, Southend, Stansted, Bristol, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Nottingham and Southampton, you could be here in less than 2 hours!

Right, now where’s that glass of rosé…

Wine tours and tastings Loire Valley, Châteaumeillant, Wine Tours France, Paris Day Trips Sancerre Quincy Reuilly

5 reasons why you need to include a wine tour as part of your summer holiday

If you are planning a summer holiday in France, you’re not going to want to miss out on taking a wine tasting tour. Here are 5 reasons why a wine tour is an absolute must.

1. Taste the terroir

The terroir consists of everything from the soil to the climate to the slope of the hill that the vines are planted on. Quite simply, it is the natural environment where the vines are grown.

One of the most amazing things about wine is that the exact same type of grapes, planted in two different regions, are likely to result in very different wines.

Yes, there may be a few other factors at play (such as how skilled the winemaker is) but it is the terroir that can have a really big impact on how the wine ultimately tastes and the aromas and flavours that you get from it.

Going on a wine tasting tour is a great way to discover the secrets of the local terroir that make a region’s wines so special.

2. French wine is some of the best wine in the world

Wine is deep-rooted in the French culture. Experts now think that wine has been produced in France for almost 2,500 years. Indeed, many of the grape varieties that we know and love today originated in France.

French wine is celebrated all over the world. Sancerre, for example, has to be one of the most famous white wines worldwide (although they do make some wonderful reds and rosés too!).

When you’re taking a wine tour, as well as visiting where your favourite wine is grown, try to head off the ‘beaten track’ and try something different. Châteaumeillant is a great example of a little-known AOC in the Centre-Val de Loire, which produces some really good wines, particularly its rosé gris.

3. Discover the local area

A wine tour is a great way to discover the local area and learn a little history about the role viticulture plays in the region that you’re visiting.

One of the great things about taking a guided wine tasting tour is that you will get to meet the local vignerons, whose role it is to make our favourite tipple.

4. Uncover other local produce

Wine tours are also a great way to find out about other local produce that you may otherwise have missed out on.

Wines often go extremely well with the food that is produced nearby (this is no coincidence!).

For example, Châteaumeillant wines go wonderfully well with the local goat’s cheese.

5. Wine tasting tours can make fantastic Paris day trips

If you’re visiting Paris this summer, a wine tasting tour could give you the opportunity to spend a day outside of the city, discovering the beautiful French countryside.

Many of France’s vineyards are within easy reach of Paris, especially on France’s famous high-speed trains.

You could be uncovering the secrets of Sancerre’s wonderful wines or discovering the lesser-known appellations of Quincy and Reuilly, in as little as 1.5 hours.

Thinking about booking a wine tasting tour?

If you would like to book a wine tasting tour as part of your summer holidays, Goûts du Berry offers tours around Châteaumeillant, Sancerre, Quincy and Reuilly. If you can’t find what you’re after, we also offer Bespoke Tours.

Can’t wait for your summer hols? Why not book a short break in the stunning French countryside