Everyone has their favorite wine, but people who only stick to what they know are missing out. When it comes to being adventurous and trying new wines the best place to start has got to be in the French wine section.
Chablis is one of the most famous of the white French wines. It is produced in an area in the north of Burgundy and is naturally high in acidity, fresh citrus notes are counterbalanced by the lingering minerality from the limestone content in the soil. This wine comes in four appellations. Petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Cru and Grand Cru all refer to the specific types of vineyards in which the chardonnay grapes that are used are grown. Petit Chablis is often referred to as a ‘starter wine’ as its taste is not as pronounced as a true Chablis, and it is also the cheapest option. The quality of the wine gradually increases up to the Grand Cru. A wine novice is unlikely to detect much difference but for someone who drinks Chablis on a regular occasion the difference in taste notes between the appellations is distinctive.
Chateauneuf du Pape
Chateauneuf du Pape is famous for being a red wine, which is not surprising when only 5% of the production is devoted to making white wine. The red wines are made using a variety of methods but they all share a fresh cherry taste that is combined with strawberry, black raspberry, spice, black pepper and earthy undertones. The acidity means that sweetness is all but redundant in the taste so this is not the drink for anyone who enjoys a sweet wine. One of the great things about Chateauneuf du Pape wine, other than that taste, is that is can be enjoyed at a wide range of maturities. When young it is more luscious to drink, but as it ages it becomes more silky in texture.
Champagne is often regarded as the highest quality wine and one which people use to celebrate. The celebration aspect of Champagne usually comes from the bubbles and the infamous popping of the cork. What is interesting about Champagne is that it is made from a blend of 3 grapes; Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier. It also starts out life as a still wine. The way in which the bubbles are added to Champagne (by dissolving the gas into the wine during the fermentation process) is what gives it the smooth and enjoyable texture. Champagne is a versatile wine that can be produced in a range of styles from very dry to fully sweet. Within the French wine repertoire there is something for everyone. A range of white wines, red wines and sparkling wines are produced all over the country using different grapes, different methods and creating totally different flavors. From novice to expert, France really does cater for all palettes.
Special guest post provided to Jen is on a Journey. Images used under the Creative Commons.