Affordable French wines and easy weeknight dinners do exist! Boy oh boy, who hasn’t had one of those crazy weeks when all you want at the end of the day is a glass of wine and dinner that doesn’t take forever to prepare. Voilà, two affordable French wines that deliver on the classic style of their wine growing regions and come in under $20.
2015 J.J. Vincent Bourgogne Blanc – $19.99
Maison JJ is produced by the team at Château Fuisse, the Vincent’s historic domaine in Burgundy. The grapes are sourced from Mâconnais and cru Beaujolais vineyards owned by other family members of Jean-Jacques Vincent’s family. 70% of the 2015 J.J. Vincent Bourgogne Blanc was aged in stainless steel tanks, and 30% was aged for 6 months in oak barrels. 13% ABV
Tasting Notes: Clear bright lemon in color with a green hue. Aromas of vanilla and brioche, on the palate fresh acidity with medium body, flavors of citrus, pear and noted minerality.
2015 Bouchard Père & Fils Réserve Bourgogne Pinot Noir – $19.99
Maison Bouchard Père & Fils is one of Burgundy’s oldest wine merchant houses and is the largest landowner in the Côte d’ Or with 130 hectares of vines including 12 classified as Grand Cru and 74 Premier Cru. In 1995 Bouchard Père & Fils was purchased by Joseph Henriot and is now part of Maisons & Domaine Henriot. Grapes for the Réserve Bourgogne Pinot Noir are sourced from Côte de Beaune, Chorey-lès-Beaune, Savigny, Santenay, and Maranges. The Réserve Pinot Noir was aged for 9-10 months, 80% in stainless steel vats with the remaining 20% in French oak barrels.
Tasting Notes: Medium ruby in color. Aromas of red cherries and currants, on the palate medium body with a nice balance of fruit and acidity.
Now, what to pair with these wines. Sheet pan dinners have grown in popularity, and the reason is clear, they are quick to prepare with a roasting time of about 45 minutes in the oven. The roasting of the ingredients adds deeper flavors resulting in the perfect weeknight comfort food dinner. One of my favorite weeknight dinners usually involves chicken with vegetables. This Parmesan Chicken Breast and Cauliflower sheet pan dinner was a weeknight hit in my house, served with a simple green salad on the side.
Of the two affordable French wines above, the JJ Vincent Chardonnay was my favorite pairing. The acidity and citrus notes were a nice balance to the roasted flavors and salty richness of the Parmesan cheese. A few evenings later, still on my sheet pan dinner kick I made an Italian Sausage, Delicata Squash, Onion, Sage and Dried Cherry sheet pan dinner – the Bouchard Père & Fils Pinot Noir was the perfect pairing.
Parmesan Chicken Breasts and Cauliflower Sheet Pan Dinner
- 4 skin-on bone-in chicken breasts
- 1 lb. small round potatoes, halved
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into good size floret pieces
- 2 white onions, cut into wedges
- 1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400F Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put the chicken breast, cauliflower florets, and onion wedges in a single layer on the baking sheet. (If needed use two baking sheets so chicken and vegetables roast and do not sweat). Scatter the thyme sprigs, drizzle the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss everything with your hands and position the chicken breasts skin side up.
- Roast for 35 minutes, occasionally turning the vegetables so they have a golden color all over. After 35 minutes, sprinkle the chicken and vegetables with the grated Parmesan cheese. Roast for another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender.
Joining the French Winophiles this Saturday, August 19th at 11 am EST on Twitter. Look for the hashtag #Winophiles and join the conversation. This month’s theme is “Affordable French Wines.” (Check out my fellow French Winophiles and their posts below.)
An Affordable Red and Tapenade, Languedoc-Style by Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Navigating the Languedoc with Domaine Magellan by Lauren at The Swirling Dervish
4 French Wine Finds $20 and under with Croque Monsieur and Monte Cristo from Gwen from Wine Predator
Each day should be a celebration by Wendy from A Day In the Life on the Farm
Surprisingly Affordable Wine Region: Bordeaux! by Jeff at FoodWineClick!
My Favorite Under $20 Pet Nat; Patrice Colin “Les Perles Gris” by Martin at ENOFLYZ
Two Bargains from Bordeaux and Bergerac by Lynn at Savor the Harvest
Mapping France in Wine Bottles: Where to Get Affordable French Wine is our topic on L’Occasion