French Red Wine Le vin rouge français
French wine is produced all throughout France. France is the largest wine producer in the world. The wines produced range from expensive high-end wines sold internationally to more modest wines usually only seen within France.
Two concepts central to higher end French wines are the notion of “terroir”, which links the style of the wines to the specific locations where the grapes are grown and the wine is made, and the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Appellation rules closely define which grape varieties and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France’s several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or even specific vineyards.
French wine region:
• Côtes du Rhône
• Loire Valley
• Provence • Corsica
• South West
Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855
The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 resulted from the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris, when Emperor Napoleon III requested a classification system for France’s best Bordeaux wines which were to be on display for visitors from around the world.
The wines were ranked in importance from first to fifth growths (crus). All of the red wines that made it on the list came from the Médoc region except for one: Château Haut-Brion from Graves. The white wines, then of much less importance than red wine, were limited to the sweet varieties of Sauternes and Barsac and were ranked only from first great growth to second growth.
Cru is a French wine term which is traditionally translated as “growth”,
Premier cru is a French language wine term corresponding to “First Growth”, and which can be used to refer to classified vineyards, wineries and wines, with different meanings in different wine regions:
Major types of red wines and food pairing:
- Syrah (or Shiraz)
Food pairings: meat (steak, beef, wild game, stews, etc.)
Food pairings: any will do.
- Cabernet sauvignon
Food pairings: best with simply prepared red meat.
Food pairings: all types of meat-based meals, foie gras. Argentine Malbec suits Mexican, Cajun, and Indian dishes, if you insist on having wine with such meals.
- Pinot noir
Food pairings: excellent with grilled salmon, chicken, lamb and Japanese dishes (notably sushi rolls).
Food pairings: very much depends on the freshness/heaviness of the wine; tomato-sauce pasta, pizza, and grilled and barbecued meats.
Food pairings: a good choice for Italian and other Mediterranean-style cuisines.
Food pairings: barbera wines are versatile: they match many dishes, including tomato sauces.