Casa Wines - A Guide to Wine Regions - France
A wine beginner might know the difference between red and white, but to be a wine connoisseur it is important to know all the wine types, grape varieties and regions. Wine is made in nearly every country, but still half of all the wine in the world is produced in three regions; France, Italy and Spain. Together these countries are what is known as the “Old World.” Known for their unique taste and terroir, wines from these regions are among our most popular. So whether you are a beginner, buyer or simply want to impress, this is our short and sweet guide to regional wine.
To develop your sense, taste and knowledge of wine you first have to start with the basics. Wine is made with grapes, but not just any old grapes. Wine grapes tend to be smaller, sweeter and thicker. With over 1300 wine grape varieties in commercial production, finding the perfect ones for your palette can take time and a lot of tasting. There is one grape variant however that reigns supreme. The most planted wine grape in the world is that which is used in Cabernet Sauvignon, a fruity, full bodied red wine which hails from France, the first of our Old World regions.
France is one of the biggest producers of wine in the world. French wine is particularly focused on the idea of terroir. Wines are usually identified by the place they are produced, with the labels noting everything from the climate to the soil, mineral content and elevation of the slopes on which the grapes were grown. It is these details which are said to give each wine its character and flavour profile. Understanding the regions is therefore the key to understanding French wine, as the wine itself is viewed as an expression of where it was created.
The Bordeux region is considered a benchmark for winemakers around the world. Home to 10,000 wine producers, it’s wines are typically fruity, medium bodied and red. It is also known for producing sweet and dry white wine. The wines which hail from this region include Carbernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Semillion. As the bedrock of the fine wine market, a Bordeux wine is a safe bet for any party or gathering.
A bottle of wine from Burgundy is both expensive and hard to come by. Often kept for special occasions, Burgundy wines age particularly well and can be kept for 20+ years. Offering a more subtle and intricate flavour profile than other French wines, bottles are coveted for their highly rewarding soft and oaky taste. Grape varieties include; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Perhaps the most famous all regions, Champagne is world renowned for its unique sparkling wines. It is the double fermentation ‘Methode Chapenoise’ which gives the wine it’s signature bubbles. Only wines made in this region can be named Champagne so that the name is synonymous with high quality. For this reason wines from the region can be little pricer than others. The primary grapes used in production are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Wines from this region are perfect for Weddings and celebrations.
These are the key wine producing regions in France, others include;
Loire Valley - known for its fresh and airy wines (Chinon, Sancerre etc.)
Rhône - producer of robust and spicy red wines. (Côtes du Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
Alsace- famous for it’s dry, crisp and sweet white wines. (Muscat, Riesling)
Provence - a sun-drenched region known for its refreshing rosés. (Côtes de Provence)
French wine is considered by many (particularly the French) to be the best in the world. Wines from this region are subject to the strictest quality control systems so you can guarantee a first rate experience with any of these excellent options. Use this short and sweet guide to find your favourite, shop Casa Wine’s unique range of red and white wines here.