When you think of wine, you think of France. With a mammoth production of eight billion bottles every year, winemaking is a serious business in France. Wine in France is a refined business, making it one of the choicest and largest wine (the second largest currently, to be more precise) producers in the world. However, there are certain things that might surprise you regarding its relationship with wine.
Here is a list of ten things you should know about French wine.
- The French label their wine bottles in a way that puts emphasis on the region where they were produced, little considering the variety of grapes used to make them. This is because wine has been around for centuries, and back then, people were not extremely aware of the various varieties of grapes used to make wine but they sure knew various regions in France. They also knew that wines from diverse areas tasted different, and were able to place the wine in regards to the region it was produced in more easily than with the help of the grape variety used to make the bottle of wine.
- Most French wines are blends, which effectively means that they are made of more than one variety of grapes. You might be surprised to know that the red Bordeaux is not a conventional variety, but a blend of Cabernet and Merlot. As you go to the south in France, you will find an ever-widening number of red blends, where blends of various varieties of grapes (think Grenache and Carignan) are common.
- While Cabernet and Chardonnay are prevalent in the United States, they are originally from France. Other variations of grapes that you might not know are originally from France include Malbec (grown in Bordeaux), Cinsault (from Languedoc and Provence) and Merlot (found in Southwest France)
- France is home to a variety of grapes that an average person is not aware of. Piquepoul and Carignan are two prime examples of grape varieties that you should definitely give a shot and try for yourself. Both of these are produced in Languedoc. While Piquepoel wine is bold citrus flavoured white with a hint of acidity, Carignan grapes produce a fiery red with a hint of spices.
- When you think of the major wine producing areas in France, you just cannot overlook Languedoc, which is the largest producer in France, both by volume of wine produced and area. The region is a vast expanse of 560,000 acres that stretches along the Mediterranean coastline and produces approximately 14 cases of wine every year.
- Wines produced in Languedoc are often offered at greatly affordable prices that deliver value for money. This is because this region is generally less known to wine consumers than say, Provence. Languedoc produces great wines that are offered for amazing rates without costing much in regards to quality.
- Some of the most expensive and sough-after wines in the world like Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) are from Burgundy. The famous wines from this region are fermented only from two main grape varieties: Pinot and Chardonnay.
- Champagne was a region before it began producing the amazing sparkling wine used in almost every special occasion across the globe today. Other areas like Crémant also produce sparkling wine and offer a great alternative to champagne.
- French wine can pair well with any kind of food, depending on the occasion. Traditionally served only with food, it is only since recent times that wine has been enjoyed on its own. The wide variety of wines produced in France gives you a ready choice for every meal.
- The Cognac region, spanning across nearly 75,000 hectares, is the largest white-grape vineyard in Europe! You may take a hot air balloon ride to comprehend its enormity. The mesmerising ride would give you a bird’s eye view of the iconic Cognac houses, cultural heritage sites and nearby fortress cities.
So next time when you slurp your favourite French wine, you may surely find yourself closer to this special delight. There are several online wine stores where you can buy a bottle or two for your near and dear ones.