The origin of French wines

Are you a wine lover and do you want to impress your friends and acquaintances? Then use terms such as tannins, aftertaste and decanting. You will make even more impression if you can indicate the origin of wines. And that is easier for the large French wine regions than you might think.

The taste of a red wine is roughly a balance between acidity, suppleness and tannins. Each red wine has its own ratio of those three elements and therefore tastes different.


The acidity in a grape decreases the riper the grape becomes and the warmer it is in a wine region. So the general rule is that the more acidic the wine is, the cooler the climate of the area where the grapes will grow for that wine. You experience acidity in a wine when tasting through a feeling of freshness. "Nice and fresh", if that is your first impression of a wine then the wine probably comes from a somewhat more northern region.


Tannins are in red wines and not in white wines. They give the wine a feeling of bitterness and dryness. The level of tannins in wine depends on several elements, but the most important are the grape variety and the duration of maceration (fermentation / soaking of the wine). Tannins come from the peel of the grape, so it makes sense that small grapes, where the peel / grape juice ratio is smaller, cause more tannins in wine. In some areas in France, smaller grapes are used than in others, so that way you can guess from the tannin level where a certain wine comes from.


Finally, the flexibility of a wine also plays a major role in determining the origin. The suppleness of a wine gives a feeling of fullness in the mouth, a somewhat greasy, more sweet taste. Not surprisingly, the flexibility comes from the sugar level in a grape. And the sugar level is again largely determined by the amount of sun that a grape gets when growing. Sun-rich, warm areas therefore generally produce a wine that is supple.

If these three elements are put in a map, you will see the distribution of the French wine as indicated on the map.

If you taste mainly sour elements in a wine, then the wine probably comes from a northern area with a fresh climate. If you mainly taste a slight bitterness in the wine, the wine may come from the southwest, in particular the Bordeaux region, and if you taste a more supple wine with a slightly sweeter taste, chances are that the wine will come from the southeast of France. This is of course a general picture. There are different varieties in each wine region and the flavors are sometimes close together.


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