Choosing Wine Like A Real Frenchman

Posted on December 12, 2013


Choosing Wine Like A Real Frenchman

When it comes to wine, France is the place to go. There’s a clichéd stereotype of the French man as being someone who doesn’t care for much beyond wine, and whilst that’s not true – it is true that a French man takes his wine drinking very seriously. In this country, wine is something that should be enjoyed alongside food. It is almost never ordered in a restaurant or a cafe without food.

It is also quite unusual for a French person to drink wine, with their food, in the late evening. Red wine, in particular, is a favourite choice for afternoon meals. Sometimes, it is even drunk with early morning breakfast snacks – this does tend to be on special occasions, like fete days. The question is – how do you choose wine like a French man?

Quality Over Quantity

One of the big differences between wine in France and wine in the rest of the world, is that grapes in France are grown in a much more temperate climate. This significantly changes their taste – they are a lot more tart than grapes from Australia or California. They also tend to be lower in alcohol, so this kind of wine is appreciated for its taste and not its capacity for inebriation, say experts at Comme Une Francais. In this country, we don’t really take the time to enjoy wine quite as much as they do in France. If you want to learn how to choose wine like a French man, it’s time to let all of that concern for percentages go. Pick fruity wines that have a slight sourness, as their nuanced taste will go better with food, say the experts at Chez Nous.

It’s In The Name

If you want to drink wine like a French man, it makes sense that you’d have to drink wine made in France. Whilst French wines are named after the region where the grapes were grown, new world wines are named for the grape type. It’s also true that French wines almost never name the type of grape on the bottle label – new world wines differ in this aspect, too. This is a very simple, easy way to differentiate between French, Californian and Australian wines. It’s not a difficult trick to master, but it is a fairly handy one, says wine expert Shannon Jeffries. You don’t want to be caught supping on a Californian zinfandel whilst on your holiday in Rouen, not if you want to pass for a real French man anyway. Visit Chez Nous for the best deals on holiday cottages in the French wine regions.

Mastering Terroir

There’s a term that is often bandied around, when it comes to French wines. It’s the word ‘terroir’ and it can be loosely translated as meaning ‘a sense of place.’ You can trust the French to make red wine far more complicated than it needs to be, right? Well, terroir is the embodiment of a particular landscape’s unique characteristics – all of those things that give a grape its own special taste. These things include soil acidity, the quality of the sunlight, the type of grape and the temperature that it is grown at, says French people take this system very seriously, as it is the model for appellation laws across the world. Luckily, this system can also help a tourist to get their head round the different types of wine available in France.

Getting It Right

Following the rules of terroir, these are the kinds of wines that you should look out for. If you prefer pinot noir at home, go for a good burgundy on your French holiday. If you tend to opt for cabernet sauvignon or merlot, stick to bordeaux or petit verdo on your getaway. When it comes to drinking chardonnay – well, things are simple. You should just keep drinking chardonnay! Make sure that it is a good one, though. For those people who jump around and like to try a little bit of everything, go for a top quality chateauneuf du pape. This particular type of red wine is made up of more than 13 different grape varieties. Don’t be afraid to experiment with French wine, because the experience will broaden and define your palate.

Author Bio: Steves writes for a travel and lifestyle magazine. For the very best deals on holiday cottages in France, she recommends Chez Nous. She can usually be found chatting with French locals, or researching her next big feature.