This advertising content was produced in collaboration with our partner, Business France/Taste France.
Nowhere is the gravitational pull toward French wines and spirits more pronounced than it is in the United States—exports of French wine and spirits to the U.S. were up nearly 40 percent during the first seven months of 2021 compared to the same time period in 2020—and the very best of French wines and spirits will be spotlighted in New York City this spring with Vinexpo America/Drinks America.
Taste France: Sharing the Bounty of France
From Michelin-starred temples of haute cuisine to everyday-priced cheeses and pastries that can change your life, France has become synonymous around the world with a deeply held sense of generosity, conviviality, and versatility at the table. Taste France brings it all together in the most delicious and informative way imaginable.
Created in 2020 to leverage all that the French wine, food, and agriculture sectors offer, Taste France is leading the charge at Vinexpo America/Drinks America to introduce and reaffirm France’s centrality in the world of wine and gastronomy. Indeed, by bringing together all of the major players in the entire ecosystem of French food, drink, and agriculture—professional associations, public institutions, privately held companies, representatives and boards from individual regions, and more—Taste France is uniquely positioned to promote the very best of the country.
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For professionals, media, and consumers alike, the Taste France pavilion at Vinexpo America/Drinks America will play the unprecedented role of sharing the entirety of what makes French food and drink so deeply important right now—and more relevant than ever.
On March 9 and 10, more than 60 exhibitors will be coming together at the French pavilion to showcase all that this incredible country has to offer. With such a large contingent of producers, purveyors, and more, the French pavilion—under the Taste France brand—promises to be one of the largest at the trade show representing almost a quarter of the entire event.
One Country, Many Regions
France may be spoken of as a monolith much of the time, but the truth is that it’s a country of stunning diversity. From the Atlantic-influenced chill of the north to the sun-drenched stretches of the south, and with a magnificent range of influences in between, France is better considered in terms of its individual regions.
All 13 of the mainland regions will be found at the French pavilion by Taste France, and for the first time, six representatives from the country’s two Caribbean regions, Guadeloupe and Martinique, will present some of the most profound spirits in the world, the great rhum agricoles of the French West Indies. Before the show begins, trade buyers will also be invited to an exclusive cocktail hour featuring French Caribbean spirits.
And from each of these regions, producers, growers, and purveyors large and small will be represented, which means that visitors will have the unique opportunity to learn about and experience the full breadth of what each is capable of bringing to the proverbial and literal table. The French pavilion will offer up the very best that France has to offer—which, as sommeliers, buyers, and other beverage professionals know well, means some of the very best in the entire world.
Sustainable offerings will be a highlight of the pavilion; 27 of the 62 producers present at the show are guided by sustainable practices, with 16 organic producers, one biodynamic, and 16 producers employing Terra Vitis principles for the cultivation of their vines. Together, more than 40 organic wines and more than 90 Terra Vitis wines will be available to taste.
Buyers can also expect unique offerings from some of these producers. Expect to taste unique labels from producers like Vignobles Vellas and Aubert & Mathieu, Basque craft beer and cider from Egarri, and absinthe and liqueurs—including a walnut liqueur—from Distillerie du Perigord.
Featuring Christy Canterbury, MW’s Taste France Selection
As a special showcase, Taste France enlisted the help of Christy Canterbury, MW to select specific wines and spirits that would represent all that the world of French wine has to offer. “I loved blind tasting these wines and spirits as there were so many delicious discoveries,” she explains. “Even for a country as well-canvassed by importers as France is, there are always more delicious wines and spirits out there, whether they come from new producers, producers who haven’t focused on exporting here before, or producers who want to change importers. It was an honor to have the opportunity to pre-select some offerings in this broad stylistic range of French beverages.”
Canterbury also created individual categories—complete with ratings and detailed tasting and pairing notes—to help guide wine buyers as they work their way through the pavilion. However, she’s done so in a way that highlights the fantastic versatility of French wine, and its stunning ability to pair well with a wide swath of cuisines. This is why Canterbury has broken down her top wines into categories such as “Best with Spicy Southeast Asian Food” and “Best Wine for Burgers.” (In case you’re wondering, she recommends the UBY 2021 Blanc Doux Gros Manseng BYO No 24 for the former and the Domaine de Saint-Clement 2020 Crozes-Hermitage Horizon for the latter.) Buyers can also peruse the wine and spirit selections based on more regional and style-specific criteria; categories like “Best Alsace White Wine” and “Best Champagne Rosé” provide framing in that regard.
Canterbury’s entire selection is available on the Taste France—Wine and Spirits marketplace, a hub for importers, wholesalers, and buyers of French wine, spirits, beer, and cider, expertly connecting wholesale, restaurant, and retail buyers to French suppliers. Around 6,000 professionals have already subscribed, free of charge, since the platform was launched in 2018, and the platform has introduced more than 17,000 French products in total. Taste France community members have access to explore a variety of products in a curated catalog, as well as direct communication with suppliers.
While Vinexpo America/Drinks America is only scheduled to last for two days, its impact promises to be felt for a long time to come. After all, the French pavilion, and the efforts of Taste France, will provide an unprecedented opportunity for professionals and consumers alike to consider the full breadth and versatility of French food and wine. From restaurant wine lists and retail shelves to the shopping and cooking habits of passionate amateur gastronomes, March 9 and 10 will rekindle Americans’ love affair with all that France brings to the table. That flame will continue to burn for a long time afterward, too.
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