In need of a French summer break? Start peddling as the Tour de France 2019 kicks off 6- 28 July. Escape with your mind ~ turn on the TV and take in the intoxicating French countryside as the riders tackle the grueling course.
You can tackle it with a glass of wine in hand as we’ve put together a Mixed Dozen following the route. From the start in Belgium through to the finish in Paris, there are many highlights both on and off screen. What’s better than watching the riders tailgate through Champagne while sipping champagne!
Belgium, Champagne, Alsace, Mâcon, Cahors, Bergerac, Madiran, Limoux, Rhône Valley, Savoie & Paris all represent! Gather some friends, stock the fridge with cheese and grab a mix of the Tour de France Mixed Dozen.
6 July Bruxelles > Brussel
Chimay Grande Reserve 750ml $25
And they’re off and sprinting! What better way to start the tour than with one of Belgium’s greatest gifts to the beer world, Chimay Grande Reserve. First released in 1948 as a Christmas beer, its popularity led to it being brewed all year round. At a hefty 9% alc, it’s a lovely share between two.
8 July Binche > Épernay
Doyard Cuvée Vendémiaire Blanc de Blancs Champagne $85
Riding into Epernay, keep an eye out for many famous Champagne houses who call this important town home; Pol Roger, Gosset, Moët & Chandon to name a few. After trekking 214km through the hills, the riders have surely deserved a glass of bubbles. Will they be able to resist? You don’t have to, pop the cork on Doyard ~ an elegantly composed, 100% chardonnay champagne!
10 July Saint-Flour > Albi
2017 Meyer-Fonné Riesling $43
Alsace’s best-known dish is Choucroute – pork cooked in various forms (smoked, sausaged and braised) served with potatoes, sauerkraut and a spread of mustards. This rich, salty dish is a great match for the region’s regal white – riesling. Meyer-Fonné’s is scintillatingly dry, with a fine, pithy acidity that cleans up the richness of the pork. For both riders and us viewers, this is a good protein and carb hit before the mountain stage tomorrow.
13 July Mâcon > Saint-Étienne
2017 Talmard Mâcon $32
Mâcon has carved out a niche for price friendly white burgundy. Slightly warmer than the Côte d’Or, where the heavy hitting grand crus lie, chardonnay here tends to be more open, with tropical tones and a cuddlier profile. Crack the Talmard and enjoy a glass as the peloton traverses to red wine territory, gliding by Beaujolais, en route to Saint Etienne.
15 July Saint-Flour > Albi
2015 Clos de Gamot Cahors $47
Moving into the south west of France, Cahors lies just north of this stage. A region praised for ageworthy reds made from the côt grape, otherwise known as malbec. Clos de Gamot are a standout producer, successfully taming côt’s typical gruffness. Ink, violets and black plums are wrapped in a contrasting silhouette of tannins.
17 July Albi > Toulouse
2016 Château Barouillet Bergerac Rouge $32
After a rest day, the riders set off to scale the heights of the Pyrenees. The climate here lends itself to organic farming with lots of sunshine and the Tramontane winds to cleanse the vines. This organic red, blends malbec, cabernet sauvignon, merlot a cabernet franc. Sound similar to a Bordeaux blend? Bergerac is known for its well-priced Bordeaux-‘esque’ wines.
20 July Tarbes > Tourmalet Barèges
2017 Le Branche Laffont Madiran Tradition $35
The climbers will be on show for this leg as it finishes on the epic Col du Tourmalet at a giddying 2115 metres! Tannat is the local grape around here, and true to its moniker, makes a tannic red. In the hands of producer La Branche Laffont, this robust red resonates with dark fruit, spice and charm. Sit back and take in the scenery and this stage’s mighty climbs.
21 July Limoux > Foix Prat d’Albis
2017 Racine Pinot Noir $26
With weary legs the riders are in for some more climbs while passing through Cathar country. Keep a look out for the majestic castles along this stage while you open a bottle of Racine Pinot. Moving into the Languedoc region where the mix of grapes runs rife, this pinot is fleshy and fresh with dark red cherries, berries and a fine stream of tannins.
23 July Nîmes > Nîmes
2016 Château Mourgues du Grès Galets Blanc $31
At the southern end of the Rhône valley, Nîmes is the start and finish of this race. Riding on the Roman viaduct, the Pont du Gard will be eye catching. This weightier white is a blend of grenache blanc, roussanne and vermentino. Galets refers to the stony soils from the riverbeds, a radiating feature of sunlight and warmth that help vines ripen to exotic levels.
24 July Pont du Gard > Gap
2017 Oratoire Côtes du Rhône Les P’tits Gars Rouge $39
Cutting across the southern Rhône where grenache reigns as queen of reds – syrah and mourvèdre factor as supporting acts. The sum of parts is courtesy of both a rich history and remnants of the extravagant past when the Papal court was based in this here.
26 July Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne > Tignes
2015 Chatillon Mondeuse $32
Here we see the fearless peloton take on the mighty Col de l’Iseran standing at 2770 metres. The local wine we’ve chosen is a mondeuse, one of the oldest, most distinctive grapes of Savoie. With bite and depth, this peppery red has a juicy core of fruit, and wafts of spice and mountain herbs, thanks to its Alpine origins.
28 July Rambouillet > Paris Champs-Élysées
Dolin Blanc Vermouth $30
We’ve made it, and more importantly so have most of the riders. Who will be clutching the precious yellow jersey as they peddle into Paris? We’ve included a bottle of Dolin vermouth, in honour of its role as a cornerstone to both aperitif and cocktail culture since the Parisian Belle Époque. Laying claim as the original blanc vermouth, serve it straight over a few cubes of ice and a wedge of orange.
These Mixed Dozens will be available for collection or delivery from Wednesday 5 June. Feel free to pre-order.
TO BUY VIA PAYPAL: Select delivery or pick up option below & click ‘Buy Now’.