French Wines

Written by Erica Paredes

For some cultures, wine is not a staple, it is something you drink during special occasions or when you are feeling a bit more sophisticated than your usual vodka tonic or mojito. In other parts of the world though, France being one of them, wine has been part of their daily lives for centuries. It is not uncommon to have a glass or two of wine with every meal when in France, and each major wine region boasts a different type.

You will encounter the word "terroir" a lot when discussing wine with enthusiasts, and this simply refers to elements that distinguishes a particular type of wine and includes everything from soil, climate and experience of the people working in the vineyard. Since wine has been traced as far back as the 6th century, you can bet there are too many varieties to count throughout the country. To make it easier for beginners though, here are the top 5 most popular regions:

Champagne - For many, Champagne is that expensive sparkling drink reserved for special occasions, and while it is indeed that, it is also named after the north east region of France where it is grown. It is the coldest wine region in the country and you will find this type of wine in white and rosé.

Bordeaux - Located in the southwest of France, this is probably the most recognized wine region in the world. They mainly produce red wines such as Medoc, Chateau Margaux, and of course, Bordeaux.

Alsace - Do you love Riesling, Pinot Gris and Muscat? If so, Alsace, in the northeast of France, close to the border of Germany, with whom it shares a lot of its wine varieties, is where you will find your favorites.

Burgundy - Also known as Bourgogne, is located in the east of the country and produces many varieties of Beaujolais, including the popular Beaujolais Nouveau, which is released on the third week of November every year.

Rhone - This southeast region of France produces mainly red wine and is Bordeaux's main competitor in the production of traditional French wine. It is known for wines such as Cotes du Rhone and Cotes du Ventoux.


Dr. Jean-Michel Cohen
is the founder of The Parisian Diet, which is about the pleasure of eating and being able to eat all types of food.

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