Organic wine is becoming increasingly common. Where best to buy it: at the supermarket, online, at a wine shop or direct from the grower? We have the answer.
Organic wine has made great progress and today in France it represents more than 8% of the total surface area of vineyards, three times as much as 10 years ago. However, there are large differences from one region to another and this is reflected in the offering in stores.
It is no longer unusual to find organic wine on the shelves of wine shops or supermarkets, and online, specialist websites are popping up every day with a variety of selections. The good news then is that organic wine can be found almost everywhere. However, as for all wine purchases, it is always good to be well-advised.
Wine shops and chains
Naturally your choice of wine shop will depend on where you live. National chains are generally less well stocked than independent wine shops as the latter have often chosen organic as their speciality. In certain Paris neighbourhoods it is easier to find an organic wine shop than a bakery: take a stroll in the 11th or 9th arrondissements for example and you’ll find a host of small, natural wine shops, while on Place de la Madeleine, leading wine store Lavinia has one of the largest selections of organic wine in the whole of France.
Specialist organic stores like Naturalia (who stock our Suau Blanc), Biocoop, Bio C’Bon or L’Eau Vive also have a good selection of organic wines at prices which are generally cheaper than those of independent wine shops. Monoprix also carries an increasingly large, well-chosen selection, thanks in part to the Monoprix Gourmet consumer feedback system.
However, supermarkets account for 17% of all organic wine sales: they have quickly adapted to consumer demand and offer some interesting bottles. Don’t miss the annual Foire aux Vins special offers.
Online purchasing of wine has also taken off, making it easier to find organic wine: customers of large stores such as Naturalia.com and Lavinia.fr can make their purchases via the internet.
Specialist websites also exist, such as Pinot Bleu and the (now famous) Petit Ballon, the leading subscriber site which recently launched its organic box. A wide selection can also be found at meilleursvinsbio.fr (high delivery charges notwithstanding), at vertetlevin.com, at lesgrappes.com (wines distributed direct from the estate), and leszinzinsduvin (rare wines).
The main channel remains direct sales, with winelovers visiting the major French wine regions and coming home with a few special bottles to delight their friends. Buying closer to home is logical for those wines which have a more artisanal approach and for smaller-scale businesses.