Home > History of Wine > Jim Chevallier’s “Early Medieval French wine”

Jim Chevallier’s “Early Medieval French wine”


Jim Chevallier is a food historian who has published such books as “How to Cook an Early French Peacock” as well as “About the Baguette”.  Bits of information that have not appeared elsewhere, research leftovers, are featured in his blog Les Leftovers. While his blog is rich in posts about the history of food it also has wine related posts such as Early Medieval French wine.  In this particular post Jim Chevallier notes, “Perhaps the richest source on vineyards for the Early Medieval period tells us almost nothing of their reputation or quality, but does at least document the persistence of viticulture in various regions; this is the collection of donations, wills and founding documents which have (unevenly) survived.”  So while we may not specifically read about what these wines were like Jim Chevallier finds that “the preferred wine of this period was lighter in color.”

"La Bataille des Vins", Recueil de fabliaux, dits,contes en vers (manuscript), Bibliothèque nationale de France,Département des manuscrits, Français 837. Gallica Bibliotheque Numerique.

“La Bataille des Vins”, Recueil de fabliaux, dits,contes en vers (manuscript), Bibliothèque nationale de France,Département des manuscrits, Français 837. Gallica Bibliotheque Numerique.

Jim Chevallier cites a wide variety of sources and fortunately provides links to the vast majority.  He writes that Henry d’Andeli’s 13th century verse “the Battle of Wines” (la Bataille des Vins) provides the first extensive look at French wines and that by this period the wines of Beaune “had already established itself as the first in France”.  This will surely excite Burgundy lovers who might also want to learn Beyond the peacocks: what most Medieval eaters actually ate.  I recommend you check out his posts!

Categories: History of Wine

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