How to read a wine label: Part Two

Week one of my “How to read a wine label” series, I shared tips on how to read a wine label from the United States. This week, let’s focus on France! I won’t include Champagne region in this post since I’ve covered it in a previous blog post.

Wine Label Bordeaux - Image source:
Image source:

France (Classified as Old World)

Not labeled by grape variety, but by region.

Bordeaux  Region

White Grapes: Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc

Red Grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc

Loire Region                           

White Grapes:  Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Melon de Bourgone

Red Grapes:  Cabernet Franc

Northern Rhone Regionwine-map-france

White Grapes: Viognier, Rousanne, Marsanne

Red Grapes:  Syrah

Southern Rhone Region

White Grapes: Viognier, Rousanne

Red Grapes:  Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault,  Petite Sirah, Carignan

Other Southern French Regions include Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence and Corsica, Southwestern France and Dordogne.

Burgundy Region                    Wine Label Burgundy

White Grapes: Chardonnay and Aligote

Red Grapes: Pinot Noir and Gamay

The higher quality wines are labeled as Grand Cru and Premier Cru.

Wine Regulation (systems of defining and regulating wine growing regions and practices)

  • Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) – most regulations/highest classification
  • Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP) – between table wine and premium
  • Vin de France (Table Wine)
  • (if before 2009, AOP was called AOC and there was another category called Vin Delimite de Quality Superieure)

What’s your favorite wines from France? Did you learn anything new about it after reading this post?

Next week, I’ll share tips on how to read an Italian wine label.

3 thoughts on “How to read a wine label: Part Two

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