Wine is one of the most wonderful and tasty drinks in this world. French wine is world-famous, and France is the largest producer of wine in the world. Terroir is a group of vineyards, which have the same soil, climate, grapes, wine-making techniques, and appellation. Each region mentioned below has its specific terroir.
Alsace is situated in the north-east region of France. It is sheltered from Atlantic disturbances by Vosges mountain in the west; while the Rhine River to the east provides the necessary irrigation to the vineyards. The Rhine River is a major factor in the prosperous growth of grapes, in this region. This river separates Alsace from Germany. The weather in Alsace is semi-continental, with low rainfall that is helpful in growing grapes. Wine production in the Alsatian vineyards, dates back to the Roman conquest. As it is situated on the German border, a German influence is also observed in the way of growing grapes and wine-making. However, the Alsatian wine is more alcoholic and full-bodied than German wine.
There are seven grape varieties grown in Alsace. These are Gewürztraminer fine wine, Riesling fine wine, Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Tokay-Pinot Gris, and Muscat Blanc wine. Except Pinot Noirs, all others are white wines. Pinot Noir is pale reddish in color. Alsatian wines are floral and aromatic in flavor which is palatable with both spicy and fruity foods.
Bordeaux is a French city situated to the south-west of France, near the Atlantic coast. The Bordeaux vineyards are grown outside the main city. One-third of the good-quality wine produced in France, comes from Bordeaux. The climate is oceanic and temperate, with short winters and long summers. It is very humid in Bordeaux, due to the vicinity of Atlantic Ocean.
The types of grapes grown in Bordeaux are Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Cabernet-Franc, Semillon, and Sauvignon. 50% of wine-regions in Bordeaux are covered with the Merlot grape. Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit-Verdot and Cabernet-Franc are red grapes, whereas, Semillon and Sauvignon are white grapes. Bordeaux wines make a good combination with oysters, Pauillac lamb, duck, and mushrooms.
Burgundy is situated in the central part of eastern France. It is to the south of Paris, between the eastern parts of Dijon and Lyon. This region of France has different types of soils. The climate of Burgundy is oceanic and semi-continental, with cold winters and warm summers.
The types of red wines in Burgundy are Pinot Noir and Gamay. The white wines in Burgundy are made from Chardonnay and Aligote. The grapes produced on a small scale are Sauvignon and Gray Sauvignon, that are used to make the Saint-bris wine. Red wine makes an excellent combination with game and beef. White wine is served with grilled fish and oysters.
Champagne vineyards are famous for the sparkling wines. Champagne is located to the east of Paris and shares its border, with Belgium. It is situated on the banks of the River Marne. The soil in this region is white and chalky, and it is best-suited for making the finest Champagne (wine). The climate of this place is continental, with sunny summer and fall that is harsh.
Three types of grapes produced are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Chardonnay is a white grape used to make the finest Champagne wine. Pinot Meunier is used to make second-grade Champagne. Foie gras, smoked salmon, lobster in white sauce, and oysters are the food items that this wine goes best with.
There are twenty-two world-class, light and fruity flavors of wine available in the Loire Valley. This valley is situated to the left of Paris, and along the banks of the Loire River. It is the third largest wine producer of France. The wines made here are known for their freshness. The climate, in this part of France, is a mixture of Atlantic and continental weather.
The white grapes grown here are Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon, and Melon. Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir are the various red grapes grown in the Loire Valley. The sparkling wine from Loire is called Fines Bulles. These wines are palatable with all summer dishes, shellfish, rillettes, ham, and chicken.
Cotes du Rhone is the area that stretches along both the banks of the Rhone River. The climate in Rhone valley is continental in the north, and Mediterranean in the south, as it falls in the vicinity of the Mediterranean sea.
Diverse climatic conditions is the reason that a wide variety of grapes are grown in Rhone Valley; from full-body red wine in the north, to the dry or medium-body red wine in the south. Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadet are white wines; while Cabernot Franc is the red wine. Full-body white wine is also available in the north and it makes an excellent combination with grilled fish. Full-body red wine is served with roasted red meat and game.
This is a region to the south of France, and which shares a border with Spain, along the Mediterranean sea. As it is a coastal area, the climate is Mediterranean. This region of France is famous for its lovely beaches.
Languedoc Roussillon is known for its sweet and fruity wine. Red wines like Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are available in this region. Grilled meat, roasted turkey and game are palatable with the red wine of Languedoc Roussillon. Macabeu, Clairette, Roussanne, and Ugni Blanc are the white wines produced in this region. Local seafood tastes excellent, when served with the white wines available here.
Provence is another French region along the Mediterranean sea. Rosé de Provence is one of the famous wines produced in Provence. It is a fruity, summer wine that is served with salads and also taken as an appetizer.
The French have perfected the art of wine making, and this beverage has become a favorite with many foodies.