Understanding French Wines

Understanding French Wines

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Are you baffled by the huge variety of French wines and completely lost when it comes to deciding which wine will best suit your needs? There is a whole new hobby when it comes to French wine! So much choice out there and where do you start?

French Wines are in a class of their own. It would not be tough to base a whole vacation around a check out to France to taste most of the fantastic French wines provided by this nation. In fact, the majority of people consider France and wine in the same thought. And also there is no much better mid-day dish than a container of wine, a loaf of French bread, some cheese and also fruit to satisfy the appetite. There is no question that wine as well as France have a background as well as the nation generates several of the finest, if not the finest, wine in the entire globe.

With every one of the wineries and numerous wineries in France, both big as well as little, almost every type of wine is different depending upon the winemaker. Obviously, that is all component of the appeal as well as appeal making wine manufacturing a lot even more of an art than a scientific research. Many of the varieties come from the lots of options a winemaker has to make when generating their wine. First, they must pick a type of grape as well as a setup for their winery. Certainly, several times this selection has currently been made as they probably currently possess their vineyard. The environment in their area has an effect on production along with the suitable harvest day in their certain situations.

Additional factors to consider that can influence the top qualities of wine consist of the kind of container made use of throughout the fermentation process, the relevant temperature levels as well as real length of the fermentation duration. One more variable is the type of container made use of throughout the maturation phase which is usually some kind of barrel or barrel. Amongst the most popular wine regions in France are Champagne, Alsace, Bordeaux, Wine Red, Loire and also Rhone. Simply listening to the names of these remarkable places can make you desire to get on a plane and also take a wine excursion. Certainly, a quicker method to obtain almost the very same sensation is to turn on the travel channel, get hold of a bottle of among your favourite French wines as well as loosen up.

Each of the eight wine producing regions of France specialises in producing wine of a particular type and flavour and this simple overview will hopefully make choosing French wines a little easier.


Burgundy wines are produced from the black Pinot Noir and Gamay grapes and from the white Chardonnay grape.

The Pinot Noir is probably one of the world’s oldest grape varieties and is notoriously difficult to grow. It does however produce some of our best wines which are full-bodied and rich and at the same time can be light, soft and velvety. Pinot noir wines often have an aroma of cherries accompanied by a spiciness that is reminiscent of cinnamon or mint.

The Chardonnay grape is a very popular grape which produces light, delicate dry wines with a distinctive but often difficult to describe aroma conjuring up a vision of apples, peaches or lemons.


The wines of Bordeaux are based upon the related black Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, found particularly in the Medoc district of Bordeaux, and the black Merlot grape.

Cabernet Sauvignon wines improve greatly with age and are often amongst the world’s truly great wines. With age the distinctive blackcurrant aroma of wines from this grape develops overtones of cedar, violets and leather and the wines, which are characteristically deep in flavour, often become smooth and soft.

Wines made from the Merlot grape are very similar to those produced from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape but have a less distinctive aroma and flavour.

If it seems strange that white wines should be produced from black grapes then bear in mind that grape juice, whether from black or white grapes, is essentially colourless and it is the skin of the black grape that gives the wine its colour.


The grape varieties most often seen in the Rhone valley are the black Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes and the white Muscat grape.

Syrah grapes produce intense rich wines which are almost black in colour and which have an aroma that is spicy in nature. The Rhone Syrah grape forms the base for many blended wines including the well known Chateauneuf du Pape.

The Muscat grape gives rise to intense, sweet wines with a strong and easily recognised aroma. In addition, and unusual for a wine, wines from the Muscat really do taste of grapes.


The grapes of the Loire include the black Pinot Noir and the white Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris grapes.

The Sauvignon Blanc grape is grown all over the world today and it is very widely used for blending. In the case of the Loire however it is used to make a distinctive unblended dry white wine with a characteristic sharp and aggressive smell.

Pinot Gris wines often display a slightly floral and lightly lemon flavour and, depending upon the ripeness of the grape at harvesting, wines that are either light and tangy or rich, round and full bodied. Pinot Gris makes one of the few white wines that can be said to age well.


Although the grapes of the Alsace are similar to those used in the Loire, growing conditions in this region tend to produce wines which bear the characteristics of many German rather than French wines.

The wines in this region are similar to Riesling and the sweeter German wines. Some Rose wines are also produced in Alsace.


The main grapes of the Champagne region are the black Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and the white Chardonnay.

The wines of the Champagne region can best be described as thin and tart and provide the perfect base for what many believe to be the world’s finest sparkling wine.


Beaujolais wines are made from the black Gamay and white Chardonnay grapes.

The wines of this region are often light in nature, fresh tasting and with a somewhat fruity flavour. Many Beaujolais wines are also slightly fizzy in nature.