Vin de table for French wine
Basically Vins de table are fairly simple wines for daily consumption with a consistent taste that is usually achieved through blending. Some specific wines are also included in this category.
Vins de Pays for French wine
The growth in Vin de Pays wines is enormous at the present time and this is not suprising because of the great inprovements in quality of this better table wine in recent years.
A Vin de Pays originates from a strictly defined wine-growing area, representing the soul of a specific territoir and is linked to the special characteristics of one or more varieties of grapes. Consumers find these French wines appproacheble with clear language on the label. Some Vins de Pays wines are so well made and demonstrate such love on the part of the wine maker that they outperform characterless AOC wines of anonymous wine merchants in both quality and price. Today’s wine drinkers demand quality for their money.
Appellation – Vins Delimite de Qualite Superieure (VDQS)
The quality of these French wines is certainly not lower than AOC wines. The criteria for selection are indeed often more rigid than for most AOC wines. VDQS wines are the only ones which have to be tested annually on order to retain their category. A VDQS wine is always therefore approved by a panel of experts before the predicate is awarded. For this reason you can rely totally on this category.
Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AC) for French Wines
French wine classed as AOC (usually referred to as AC) originates from a clearly defined area in which the soil, climate, variety of grapes, and various legally-defined requiments provide a guarantee that the wine originates fron a given place. This is not, however, a guarantee of quality since these French wines are not tested each year and some of them do not deserve a quality predicate. Despite this, AOC wines form the top category of French wines.
Additional information on the label for French wine
Here we mean additions such as ‘Premiere Cru’, or ‘Grand Cru’ for Bordeaux wines, not such meaningless phrases as ‘Vin Supérieure de la cave du patron’ or ‘Cuvée reservé du sommelier’.
The better Bordeaux were classified in 1885 for a World Exhibition, based on quality criteria of the time. At that time ot related solely to wines of Médoc, Sauternes and on wine from Graves.
This lattercategory received its own Cru in 1959. Other area which have a similar Premier and Grand Cru classification include St Emilion and Côtes de Procence. Since 1932 the term ‘Cru bourgeois’ has also been used in Médoc. In Burgundy terms such as ‘Premier Cru’ and ‘Grand Cru’ are part of the official name of origin.