French Wine Regions and Loire Valley Wines, Episode 28

French Wine Regions and AOC

French Wine Regions

Today on Join Us in France we talk about French wine regions and give you some background information on each of them. We’re not sommeliers or oenologues, we’re just a couple of women who enjoy wine and have had a chance to try lots of different ones. We have our favorites and we’re sure you do too! Listen to the show right now or subscribe below so you never miss an episode.

If you love our approach to travel and want to tour France with us, visit Addicted to France to look at upcoming tours.

Episode Highlights

  • Brief history of the production of wine in France
  • Some (rare) parts of France do not produce any wine
  • There are 3240 different types of wines in France
  • Quality control for French wine regions
  • How to read labels in France
  • The meaning of the term AOC: Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée
  • Overview of major French wine regions
  • Alsace: Riesling (white), Gewurztraminer (white), Tokay (red)
  • Bordeaux: very large production numbers, goes from exquisite to terrible.
  • Beaujolais: young wines, Beaujolais nouveau is a big deal, but it’s not our favorite.
  • Burgundy: very large and wonderful wines.
  • Bugey: white, not as famous as most of the other AOC wines.
  • Champagne: major wine-growing region.
  • Corsican: large French island in the Mediterranean, makes very distinctive wines.
  • Juras: mountainous region in the Alps, Besançon is the major city there. The produce a “yellow wine”, mostly sweet.
  • Languedoc: used to produce low-quality wines and have since cleaned up their act, they now make some great ones. It includes Minervois and Corbières. This is a very large area called Languedoc-Roussillon.
  • Loraine: small region that produces mostly white wines.
  • Valley de la Loire: the Loire River is a large river that crosses France east to west.
  • Provence: the best rosés produced anywhere are from Provence, but they also produce some red and white. Bandol wines have their own AOC.
  • Vallée du Rhône: the Rhône is a large river that runs north to south. This is where you’ll find Côte du Rhône in the south, Beaujolais a little more to the north, and to the north of the Rhône area, Burgundy. These are three different OAC groups in the same region.
  • Savoie: somewhat similar to the wines found in the Juras and Bugey. This region produces white wines that go very well with Cheese Fondue and Raclette, famous dishes of the area. Those are hardy, winter dishes. The wines are fruity and somewhat sweet.
  • South-Western: includes wines that are not exported very much, Cahors, Madiran, Jurançon, Gaillac, Fronton.
  • Wine distribution channels in France
  • Driving around to taste wine in France
  • Focus on the Loire Valley
  • Muscadet
  • Anjou
  • Vouvray (white)
  • Chinon (white)
  • Bourgeuil AOC (red)
  • Cheverny AOC (red)
  • Sancerre
  • Pouilly fumé

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Top Attractions in Toulouse, Episode 31

Top Attractions in Toulouse

Toulouse Saint Sernin, Top attractions in Toulouse
Saint Sernin Basilica, photo Annie Sargent

Today, Elyse shares with us the Top Attractions in Toulouse. It was hard to limit ourselves to 7 because this is our home town, but we have to start somewhere! No more excuses, you need to come visit Toulouse! Why do we say something so bold? We tell you all about it in this, episode 31 of the Join Us in France Travel Podcast.

It is significant that this is episode 31. Do you know why?

As a native of the city, Annie is proud to report that Lonely Planet recommends our home as one of their Top Ten destinations in Europe for 2014. To which we say: What took them so long?!

If you love our approach to travel and want to tour France with us, visit Addicted to France to look at upcoming tours.

Episode Highlights

  • Top Attractions in Toulouse
  • A city in the shape of a heart
  • Tearing down the fortification walls
  • A charming city
  • A city for young people
  • 7 things you should not miss when you come to Toulouse
    1. Saint-Sernin Basilica
    2. The Capitole and the reception gallery “Salle des Illustres”
    3. Les Jacobins
    4. Renaissance mansions in Toulouse
    5. Walk along the banks of the Garonne River
    6. The Canal du Midi
    7. Food Markets in Toulouse
  • The first two weeks of August are dead in Toulouse
  • The 4th July party for Americans in Toulouse
  • Civil wedding in Toulouse
  • Other top attractions in Toulouse: City Parks
  • Aviation in Toulouse
  • Food in Toulouse
  • Conclusion: How to come to Toulouse

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Best Covered Passages in Paris, Episode 29

 Best covered passages in Paris, shopping

Best Covered Passages in Paris

This week we look at the Best Covered Passages in Paris (we call them “galeries” in French) and why return visitors to the City of Light should definitely consider visiting the some. There are lots of them, but we have our favorites, which is why we are concentrating on the best covered passages in Paris.

Elyse explains how they came to be historically, why she likes them so much, and suggests a few you may want to concentrate on because they offer particularly wonderful architecture or ambiance.

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

Episode Highlights

    • What are the Covered Passages?
    • Where are the best covered passages in Paris?
    • How French Kings and Noblemen created the Galleries
    • The Galleries were the original shopping malls
    • The Best Passages in Paris:
      • Passage Panorama (Near Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, 1799)
      • Passage Jouffroy (1847)
      • Passage Verdeau (think “verre d’eau!”, 1847)
      • Galerie Vivienne (Palais Royal area)
      • Galerie Véro-Daudat
      • Passage Brady (ehtnic foods from Pakistan and India)
      • Galerie Colbert near the Bibliothèque Nationale
      • Passage du Grand Cerf between rue Saint-Denis and place de la République
      • Passage des Princes
      • Passage de Choiseul (1825, had theaters and cabarets)

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Sharing the Best of France