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A month of bargain wine from tomorrow

A below-average 2007 vintage means there are plenty of discounts to be had in this year's Foire aux Vins

HUNDREDS of millions of cut-price bottles of wine go on sale this month as all of the major supermarket chains unveil their annual Foire aux Vins.

Carrefour is the first of the retail giants to launch its sale tomorrow, closely followed by Intermarché, Monoprix and Auchan. The last to join the discounting are E. Leclerc and the Magasins U, whose sales run until mid-October.

The Foire aux Vins has been an annual rentrée tradition for supermarkets and hypermarkets since the mid-80s.

According to Le Figaro, Leclerc sold 150 million bottles during last year's event. Intermarché made about €50m, the equivalent of a month's wine takings in just a week and a half.

The bargains to be had from this year's foire are bigger than usual because the 2007 vintage was largely disappointing.

One hypermarket chief executive told Le Figaro: "We have had to make a big effort to cut prices, otherwise a lot of the wines would be unsaleable."

Here are the Foire aux Vins dates for the main stores:

Auchan
September 16 to October 4

Carrefour
September 8 to 19

Carrefour Market
September 30 to October 11

Casino
September 8 to 19

Leclerc
September 30 to October 10

Franprix
September 10 to 20

Intermarché
September 9 to 19

Magasins U
September 29 to October 10

Monoprix
September 10 to 20

This website has the full price list for each shop and the sale dates for the main online wine vendors.

Find out more about the 2009 vintage - and how global warming could kill French wine - in the September edition of The Connexion, out in newsagents now.

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