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.
France (Classified as Old World)
Not labeled by grape variety, but by region.
- Chateau wines are usually considered the best-quality wines from Bordeaux.
- The coveted wines from Bordeaux come from the 5 Premier Crus (Chateau Lafite, Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Margaux, Haut Brion).
- Most good Bordeaux requires aging.
Red Grapes: Cabernet Franc
Red Grapes: Syrah
White Grapes: Viognier, Rousanne
Red Grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Petite Sirah, Carignan
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.