Best wine regions of France – Terroir de French Wines
French wine is well-mannered and chivalrous; it accompanies the food but never overpowers it. However each wine has a character of its own, defined by its “terroir” or territory. The place and culture of the place from where the wine originates, makes the wine unique; makes it special!
For a country that produces all kinds of wines, France has 7 regions that mark their own territory when it comes to wine! Wines are classified based on these places and these places make for appellations or label. Let the players introduce themselves…
The “I am famous and everyone knows me” one
Bordeaux wines need no introduction. Spreading over 306,000 acres, Bordeaux wines are some of the most famous French wines. Besides being one of the largest wine growing regions, Bordeaux region has immediate access to the sea, giving it the advantage of easy export over centuries. The big reds from the great chateaux have hence made headlines for years now. The red wines are usually fruity and tannin layered making them great companions with meat. The whites are fresh and woody which make them complex.
Your choices à la Bordeaux:
White Wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Muscadelle
Red Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec
The “Greatness is my name” one
Burgundy is a name that ranks among the “who’s who” of wines. The wines from Burgundy are often expensive wines and need to be at least 10 to 20 years old to be truly worth their “vintage” cost. The best way to enjoy the most seductive Burgundy wines (Oh, these are really, really good) is to follow the best producers and read reliable reviews. It is said that, “Burgundy wines are for the senses while Bordeaux wines are for the intellect”.
Seductive wines of Burgundy:
Red: Pinot Noir
The “I am powerful” one
Welcome the Rhône valley – from muscular, powerful and alcoholic highs to pure elegance of its appellations, this is a red valley through and through. If Californian reds appeal to your taste buds, try the rich and generous wines labeled Côtes du Rhône. If you see a village name attached (Rasteau and Seguret being amongst the best), don’t even blink an eyelid in making the choice! They may be more expensive compared to others but they will be worth it.
The power list of Rhône valley:
White Wines : Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier
Red Wines : Syrah (Shiraz), Grenache, Mourvèdre
The “I am one of a kind, smooth-talker” one
Champagne is thy name and smooth is thy game! The sparkling wine from the slopes east of Paris is a global mark. French wines from different regions have been copied all over the world; however Champagne remains a standing victor. Inimitable despite innumerable attempts, a celebration seems is in order and incomplete without this drink. The cool climate and chalk slopes, literally the “terroir” define the drink.
Noteworthy of Champagne (besides the sparkling Champagne itself):
White Wines: Chardonnay
Red Wines: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier
The “Style is my game” one
Alsace has its unique style quotient when it comes to wines. Appellations from Alsace have the variety of grape mentioned in them, which cannot be found with any other appellations. Alsace produces almost exclusively white wines – fruity, rich and flavorful. The grapes used are a mixture of French and German, resulting in a unique and unusual taste.
The Alsace stylish enlists:
White Wines: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc
Red Wines: Pinot Noir
The “I am so cool” one
Loire Valley is a mixed bag when it comes to wines. The wines here are cool despite sunny weather and yet the varieties available have made standards around the world. From Sauvignon Blanc’s of Sancerre and Pouilly Fume which are models for Sauvignon Blanc, the Chenins of Savennières, to the sweet wines of Vouvray and Anjou; try a wine from Loire Valley and you are sure to never have a dull moment around it.
Loire Valley presents:
White Wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne
Red Wines: Cabernet Franc, Cot (Malbec)
The “I am warm and homey” one
The hot, sun-drenched vineyards of the South of France make some inexpensive and yet extremely refreshing wine. The wines of Côtes du Languedoc- Roussillon have some truly magical mixes of value and fruity flavors. The terroir there gives the wines from there a fascinating herbal flavor to wines. The warm weather enables good grape-growth, thereby enabling Languedoc-Roussillon to produce volume wine for cheap. Hence the homey, cheap table wine.
Cheap indulgences from Languedoc-Roussillon
White Wines: Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne
Red Wines: Grenache, Syrah, Carignane, Cinsaut