The origin of French wines

Are you a wine lover and do you want to impress your friends and acquaintances? In that case use terms such as tannins, aftertaste and decantation. You will make an even greater impression if you can indicate the origin of wines. And that is easier than you might think for the major French wine regions.
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, the colder the climate of the area where the grapes for that wine grow will be. You will experience acidity in a wine when you taste it through a feeling of freshness. If your first impression of a wine is: ‘Nice and fresh’, then the wine probably comes from a somewhat more northerly region.


Tannins are in red wines and not in white wines. They give a feeling of bitterness and dryness in the wine. 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 skin of the grape, so it makes sense that small grapes, where the skin / grape juice ratio is smaller, provide more tannins in wine. Smaller grapes are more used in some areas of France than others, so you can guess from the tannin level where a particular wine comes from.


Finally, the suppleness of a wine also plays a major role in determining its origin. The suppleness of a wine gives a feeling of fullness in the mouth, a somewhat greasy, more sweet taste. Unsurprisingly, the suppleness comes from the sugar level in a grape. That sugar level is then largely determined by the amount of sun a grape gets when growing. Sun-rich, warm areas generally produce a wine that is smooth.

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

If you taste mainly freshly 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, especially the Bordeaux region, and if you taste a smooth wine with a slightly sweeter taste, chances are that the wine comes from the southeast of France. Of course this is a general picture. In each wine region there are different varieties and the flavors are sometimes close together.

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