Food & Drink

6 first-class wines to cheer the Paris 2024 Olympics

From the opening ceremony to the medal table, these famous French styles will help you salute the games. By Sam Wylie-Harris.

These French wines are the perfect accompaniment to watching the Olympic Games
A pair of champagne flutes with Eiffel Tower in background These French wines are the perfect accompaniment to watching the Olympic Games (Donato Fiorentino / Alamy Stock /Alamy Stock Photo)

A wine-lovers paradise, if ever there was a place to drink in the atmosphere of the summer Olympics, surely it’s France.

And whichever sport you’re supporting, spectators will be spoilt for choice when it comes to a top drop to mirror the medal-winning excellence on the podium.

But just in case you’re following the action from further afield, hosting a Parisian-themed Olympics party, or simply broadening your horizons, these French wines are worthy of a medal…

1. The Wine Society’s Generation Series Muscadet 2022, Loire Valley, France, £11.95, The Wine Society

Shaped by the cool sea breezes of the Atlantic Ocean, muscadet is the seafood-loving white that reminds us how this westerly appellation gifts us super-fresh whites with a delicious saline note. Look for ‘sur lie’ on the label, which lends texture and lemony weight to the citrus, apple and pear notes, underpinned with delicious salinity. Bring on a plate of half a dozen oysters.

2. Ormarine Villemarin Picpoul de Pinet 2023, France, £11.99, Majestic

Trendy and southern France’s answer to muscadet, picpoul is right on-point with shellfish platters thanks to its lemony acidity and streak of minerality. Fresh, crisp and zippy, this one’s particularly pleasing with fragrant herbal notes and tangy citrus riding on a textured palate. One to sip while watching swimming fixtures.

3. Caves d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2023, Côtes de Provence, France, £23.99, Majestic

There may be a flurry of new rosé releases vying for our attention, but when you’re after elegance and delicacy, the majority of Provençal pinks will be pipped to the post by Whispering Angel. Winner of multiple awards, it’s seductively silky with an engaging freshness, succulent red fruits, florals, gentle hints of pink grapefruit, peaches and cream, appetizing acidity and straight-down-the-line deliciousness.

4. M&S Fitou 2022, Languedoc Roussillon, France, £8, Ocado

The sun-kissed Languedoc Roussillon stretches from Provence to the Pyrenees, and we’ve singled out this crowd-pleasing fruit bomb for marathon events – and one to go the distance. Widely recognized as producing France’s most competitively priced wines, this deftly blended red offers a wealth of ripe, rounded plummy fruit with hints of violets and soft spice. Big on flavour and punches above its weight.

5. Château Lauzanet Bordeaux Rouge 2020, £14.99, France, Virgin Wines

With a gold medal under its belt, this merlot-dominated blend hails from the red wine capital of the world – and a great vintage. Plush and generous with fragrant aromatics, juicy, dark, fleshy ripe fruits, hints of cassis, a liquorice element and a bright, harmonious finish. Totally approachable with spicy overtones, pair with a cheese board while catching up on the sporting highlights.

6. Champagne de Saint-Gall, ‘Orpale’ Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 2012, France, £130, The Wine Cellar

(Nicolas PLESSIS)

A champagne for champions, this cuvée is the stand out star in the De Saint-Gall squad – and a brilliant blanc de blancs that sets the gold standard for their chardonnay grapes. Dazzling from first sip, it’s rich and elegant with beautifully expressive aromas – delicate florals, lemon cheesecake, toasted almonds, vanilla – with notes of brioche and white peach; tasting wonderfully fresh with a satiny texture and mineral note on the long, lingering finish. A stunner to splash out on if you’re going for gold.