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Let me tell you a secret, folks. When you come to France and you go buy some wine, you are going to be surprised! Let's say you step into a supermarket in Paris on your way back to your hotel one night. You will not find a section for Merlot and a section for Pinot Noir. Nope, what you will see is words like Corbière and Bordeaux and Loire. But what's in those wines? If you love Cabernet and hate Merlot, how do know which one to avoid in France?
An Exploration of French Wines
In comes today's guest: French wine scholar Dave Walsh. "French Wine Scholar" is a certification that he took and it's pretty clear he is passionate and knowledgeable about the subject. Dave is better than a sommelier because he's not trying to sell you anything. He is simply trying to help you make sense of it all.
What's a "Terroir" Anyway?
We chat about things like what's a "terroir"? What does history have to do with wine-making? What are the basics you need to understand? How do you know what wine to pick to match your taste? And, of course, we chat about the varieties of wines each French region uses.
French Grape Varieties Table
You will find a table that shows grape varieties used in various French wine regions. Make this your own cheat sheet that shows what French wines you'll enjoy best.
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If you enjoyed this episode, you should also listen to related episode(s):
- Wine Touring in Beaune, Burgundy, Episode 128
- French Wine Regions and Loire Valley Wines, Episode 28
- Le Musée du Vin or Wine Museum, Hidden Gems in Paris, Episode 124
Discussed in this Episode
- French Wines
- Regional French Wines
- Wine Scholar Program
French wines are not rocket science, but they are certainly different from what people are used to in most of the world. I've heard people say that soon enough French wine makers will all list varietals on their labels. Really? I'm not seeing that very much. I've also heard that American wine makers are trying to brand more by region. Yes, I do think that's happening actually! I cannot predict the future, but I can tell you that if you remember some of the things Dave shared on today's episode, the wine section at the French grocery store will now make a lot more sense than it did before!
Learn More: French Food and Wine