Grand Cru et vin de table : quelles différences ?

Grand Cru and table wine: what are the differences?

It is never easy to choose a wine, and even the greatest wine lovers are sometimes hesitant in front of the shelves of their wine merchant. Among all the decisions to be made, you have to choose between a Grand Cru and a table wine. But what makes them different? Let's take a closer look at the differences between a Grand Cru and a table wine .

These expressions refer to very distinct categories of wine, each with its own characteristics and levels of quality.

Table wine and Grand Cru: two different categories of wine

Generally speaking, wines are classified according to their quality and the prestige of the estate and the wine region. Thus, we very clearly distinguish Grands Crus from table wines.

Focus on the Grands Crus

The term " Grand Cru ", in France, refers to the best in wine . This term emerged in the 18th century, with the creation of the classification of Bordeaux wines. The objective was then to highlight the quality of wines from the best terroirs in France.

Grands Crus therefore often come from the most prestigious French vineyards, such as Burgundy or Bordeaux. They are then the result of a very rigorous winemaking technique , meeting very strictly the specifications of the appellation. Very often, Grands Crus are characterized by good aging potential, beautiful aromatic complexity and an elegant tannic structure.

Focus on table wines

Table wine is traditionally a wine for daily consumption , and for which there is no specific geographical mention. Often manufactured on a very large scale, it does not meet particular quality criteria, which makes it more attractive.

We then think, wrongly, that all table wines are entry-level wines. However, many winegrowers choose to produce table wine to free themselves from the dictates of appellations, and enjoy greater freedom in their choices (grape varieties, blends, winemaking techniques, etc.). With greater flexibility, they are then able to produce excellent quality table wines.

Table wines and Grands Crus: selection criteria

Table wines and Grands Crus are therefore two very different categories of wine. To select them, the consumer must therefore take into account distinct criteria.

Choosing a Grand Cru

If you want to buy a good bottle of wine classified Grand Cru , you will need to take several criteria into account.

  • Geographical indication: Grands Crus are intrinsically linked to production areas renowned for the exceptionality of their terroir, such as Burgundy in France, or Piedmont in Italy;
  • The grape varieties: each grape variety brings unique characteristics to the wine. The choice must therefore fall on carefully selected grape varieties , such as pinot noir for Burgundy red wine, or chardonnay for white wines;
  • Production methods: the specifications of the controlled designation of origin are strictly respected to produce Grands Crus, and the winemaker must be extremely meticulous throughout the process.

Choosing a table wine

  • Geographical indication: for table wines, production areas are not strictly regulated, and winemakers can use grapes from wine regions around the world . This allows you to enjoy a wide range of styles and flavors;
  • Grape varieties: here again, winegrowers are completely free to produce wine with the grape varieties of their choice , blending them as they wish. This makes it possible to offer a wide aromatic palette, but also to create versatile wines;
  • The winemaking process: generally, winemakers who produce table wine take advantage of their great freedom to encourage innovation, to offer affordable options to wine lovers.

The price difference between a table wine and a Grand Cru

Logically, Grands Crus are wines of superior quality , we therefore expect the price of the bottle to be higher. Their exceptional reputation and rarity drive up prices, and the market for wine classified as “Grand Cru” therefore attracts great wine lovers and collectors. If some bottles are available for a few tens of euros , others can reach several hundred thousand euros , such as the Romanée Conté Grand Cru, vintage 1945, which was sold at a price of €482,000!

French table wine , on the other hand, is really intended for daily consumption. Its price is therefore much more accessible, and most bottles are priced at less than €15 . But we also find very high quality table wines, reaching several hundred euros.

Table wine or Grand Cru: how to choose?

You will have understood, table wines and Grands Crus do not box in the same category. Table wines are very suitable for everyday use , or during a simple and relaxed meal, while Grands Crus are rather reserved for special occasions (a birthday, a wedding, etc.).

In the same way, the Grands Crus are rather reserved for experienced wine lovers, who will appreciate all the subtlety of these great wines. On the other hand, table wines are truly accessible to everyone, great enthusiasts and small consumers alike.

When exploring wine producers, it is important to take these category differences into account and select wines based on your preferences and budget. Whether you opt for a world-renowned Grand Cru or a more modest table wine, each bottle offers a unique sensory experience and allows you to discover the riches of the wine-growing terroirs of European countries and elsewhere.

Table wine and Grand Cru are truly two completely different types of wine. If one focuses on exceptional quality and excellence, the other aims rather to seduce the consumer more modestly and without constraint. In any case, tasting such wines remains a unique journey that you can experience with the vintages offered on our online store.

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