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French Wines And Wine Tasting In France

Wine is undoubtedly one of the great national treasures of France, which over the years has become an integral part of French culture, rooted in history, with around half a million vineyards throughout France.

Although you can find many great value wines and numerous different varieties to choose from, some of the most expensive wines in the world are produced in France, and most people will never be able to experience them in their lifetime.

In fact, a vintage Romanee Conti red wine produced from the pinot noir grape in Burgundy can cost anything upwards of ?1,000 for just one bottle!  and a rare vintage case of 12 sold at auction in London for a staggering ?58,500, making this the most expensive case of wine sold up until 2007.

Both Bordeaux and Burgundy have always contested that they produce the best wines and in their own ways the are probably both correct, yet apart from the Champagne region, famous for the sparkling wine, Bordeaux wines are far more widely known than those from Burgundy.

No matter what region in France you are on holiday in, you will be able to sample a wide variety of different wines, and it is a good idea to get to know your preferences before trying different wines, whether you prefer a red wine or a white wine, sweet or dry, still or sparkling the choice is immense.

French Wines
French Wines In Barrels

Why not try going to a wine tasting session which can be great fun experiencing different varieties, yet for some it can also be a little daunting, especially if it is not on an arranged tour, however, there are some general pointers that will get you through.

When wine tasting, you should always start off with the lightest wines such as sparkling wines and work through to full bodied whites, then through the reds from the light to the full bodied and end on dessert wines.  This will help to keep your taste buds more sensitive so you can better appreciate each wine. In some places they even supply water in between so as to get the full flavour and texture of each wine you are tasting.

You should start with swilling the wine round in the glass a couple of times, which will help aerate it and provide you with the full aroma, plus it is customary to spit out most wine, rather than swallow it, although you can swallow a small amount on occasions to experience what it is like after it has gone down.

The Loire Valley is a massive wine producing region with a variety of wines such as Muscadet, Cabernet Franc, Gamay reds and even reasonably priced Sauvignon Blancs.  And with the beautiful chateaux plus the tranquil winding river it makes the Loire region one of the most visited areas in France for experiencing wines and fine French food to accompany them with the stunning backdrops so synonymous with this region.

For hundreds of years Bordeaux has had a long and internationally famous history of high quality wines and is also a very popular place to go, although you can still pick up a good value Bordeaux wine if you travel to the outskirts of the region. 

And who could not think about champagne, which is so tightly controlled for what can be classed as a true champagne, you will get to appreciate why some varieties are so expensive and are only produced in this region for consumption throughout the world.  But, there are some vineyards that will charge less for a bottle of their champagne with the same finesse, compared to famous brands we have all come to know. 

The Languedoc region in France is one of the biggest wine producing regions and to put this into perspective, it has over two times more land planted to vines than the whole of Australia!  In the past, they concentrated more on quantity rather than quality, but this is changing and you can pick up a reasonably priced wine that can match up to some at double or even triple the cost.

So France is a country that has such a different range of wines from the many wine regions and each one will provide a taste, aroma and body like no other and some regions themselves offer such a diverse range it can be a fascinating experience.

Obviously, white wine has long been associated with fish and chicken, whereas red wine is normally paired with red meats and game, yet when you are in France experiencing the fantastic culinary delights of speciality French food, take the time to choose a wine that will enhance the experience or ask for advice and enjoy!

French Wines Bottles

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