With its sweeping vineyards, award-winning restaurants and quality rural produce, France is an obvious choice for a gastronomic break – or if you already live here, a day trip – in the pleasant surroundings of the Rhone Valley or the hills around Dijon.
But which are the top destinations for a tipple when you’re out and about in the French countryside?
South-east of Paris lies the wine region of Burgundy, famous for introducing the world to classics such as Beaujolais and Cote d’Or.
The area itself is a glorious patchwork of fields, rivers and hillsides, with attractions like zoos and theme parks to keep the kids occupied as well as wine-tasting opportunities for the grown-ups.
The eastern Alsace region shows an unusual mix of influences in both wine and culture; understandably so, owing to its history of German and French occupation. The rugged Juga mountains, the spectacular architecture of Strasbourg and fruity whites like Riesling are more than enough to keep the visitors coming back.
With 57 wine appellations and some top-notch estates, Bordeaux is often considered the cream of wine destinations. Happily, the south-west of France is also home to quintessential medieval towns with steep cobbled streets and local handicrafts, not forgetting the much-admired city of Bordeaux itself.
In truth, you’ll be spoiled for choice if you’re looking for a wine holiday, or simply a break from your daily routine in Paris. It’s for good reason that France produces more of the stuff than any other country in the world and when combined with the fairytale chateaux of the Loire Valley or the scenic vineyards of the Cotes-du-Rhone, it’s the recipe for a perfect trip. And don’t fret, if your money is running low in the run-up to Christmas, you can always buy some great flavours online, from Tesco wine to local producers, rather than paying for a break to the wine regions.