France still seth the standards by which most of the world’s finest wines are judged, but ar far as store sales are concerned, australian wines are rapidly moving into pole position.
The French have certainly long been lovers of wine, from the red wine plonk for daily drinking of the vin ordinaire to the great wines from Bordeaux and Burgungdy. Life without wins is unthinkable to most of the French. Daily enjoyment of wine, with family of friends, or with a meal, is an essential pause in French life. Wine is the soul of the French always managed to save that soul.
In contrast though, pick up almost any international wine list in a restaurant and French wines still dominate. It will be fascinating to see if French wines can fight back over the next decade.
The system of Appellations d’origine Contrôlées (AC) used in France – which defines the region in which a wine’s grapes are grown, the varieties used, and the manner of production – may have its restrictions but it is still the first piece of information many people look for on a label. Vin de Pays, the lowest category of France wine, does not follow strict AC rules, but today it can hold many a pleasant surprise and bargain for the wine lover.
Bordeaux Burgundy Alsace The Rhône The Loire Valley