The history of wine production is interesting. Every type of wine comes from this country. From the cheapest grapes in 3 litre boxes all the way across Appellations Controllées to Vin de Pays down to Vin de Table. If you think price is the determining factor in finding the best wines, you are easily proven wrong.
Many will already be familiar with German wines. The Alsace-Lorraine area is inspired by some of that tradition. There are some very well-known grapes that give excellent white wines:
- Pinot Blanc
- Sauvignon Blanc
Just as I mentioned the German impact upon some white wines from France, the Riesling grape is very popular. There are many low-price wines (rather sweet), but certainly also some very fine Rieslings. Served chilled while the sun is baking is a lovely thing. Something you may want to remember for summer next year. 🙂
There are quite a few grapes that provide interesting red wines:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
One of my personal favourites among pricey wines are either the Chinon wines from the Loire Valley or the especially the wine from 2004 entitled “Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Grande Garde Saint-Benoit”. It’s a wine priced at roughly 12€ here in Denmark, but truly fantastic. Amazing, however, that you can get wines in the Loire Valley at one third this price (ranging from 3,60-4,50€ that will be just as good), but “Châteauneuf-du-Pape” signifies papal wine, and truly one can say that the papacy has had good taste in wine.
Facetiously one could say that since they can’t concentrate as much on lovely ladies, at least an interest in wine can be a very enjoyable experience. 🙂
There are many grapes that give rosé wines you will want to taste:
- Grenache Gris
Rosés truly surprised me when we took our first vacation to France in 2006. In Denmark we might have ten-fifteen types of rosé from mainly Spain and California – and later (this year) we have begun to see French rosés also. But I was truly amazed when one of my very best friends, Cyril [who by the way turned 44 today – congratulations ;-)] showed me a local supermarket called Géant. They had several rows of rosés. You can imagine that for a couple like ours, where I have always preferred mature red wines and my wife previously liked semi-sweet white wines, then rosés have taken both of us by storm. Previously I only knew of the Zinfandel rosé wines from California, but I have taken both Greek and French rosés very much to heart.
Notice this: there is no doubt that many abuse alcohol. In our society it is very easy to fall prey for that, but in moderation it is a true enjoyment. Voltaire once declared that there was more philosophy in a bootle of wine than in many books. He is truly right, but one needs to be mindful never to overdo that passion.
Good luck in discovering the same beauty as we have. When you visit France you owe it to yourself to take home many different bottles so you can experience some of the variety the French have truly implemented in many even smaller supermarkets. They don’t drink much of the wines that are exported, and guess what? I think they are wise enough even to export some of it so they can avoid digesting it themselves. 🙂
A bit of cultural history
1671 years ago (on October 7th 336), the death of Pope Mark [ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Mark] initiated a 4 month period without any pope. It wasn’t until February 6th 337 before Pope Julius I came on the scene [ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Julius_I]