France and its wines

  1.  I have traced myself back to Charlemagne. And, yes, so can many other people of Europe, because he had 17 children with eight of his 10 known wives (or concubines). So, where does that put me? In line also with Pippin the Short, Charles Martel, and the Kings of Scot. I have history and would love to return to that hallowed ground, from whence he came, that Charlemagne…
  2. Red wines accounts for 60 percent of French supermarket wine sales, and that’s compared with 25 percent for rose, and 15 percent for white wines.
  3. Even French people find it difficult to understand French wine labels.
  4. Northern France’s wines are usually made from a single variety (like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay); but, wines from further south are typically blends of varieties (like, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petite Verdot).
  5. This one  is from Food & Wine’s site: Seven Top French Wine Regions by Acres of Vines (I had no idea)
    • Languedoc-Roussillon 528,000 Acres
    • Bordeaux 306,000 Acres
    • Rhône Valley 188,700 Acres
    • Loire Valley 158,000 Acres
    • Burgundy 125,000 Acres
    • Champagne 75,000 Acres
    • Alsace 34,000 Acres
  6. French wine is much less expensive than American wine because it’s not heavily taxed.
  7. From Ashley Abroad: “If a French person asks you if you’d like a glass of wine, say “volontiers”, not “bien sûr.” In this context bien sûr means, “obviously”, as in, “Obviously I want some wine, don’t you know I drink allll the time?” P.S. I learned this the hard way.” [Nuances of language…]
  8. Terms to know, if you’re headed to Alsace:
    1. Bas-Rhin The northern portion of Alsace.
    2. Haut-Rhin: the southern portion of Alsace.
  9. Chablis: the northernmost region of Burgundy known for its steely whites.
    1. Because of the US’s Hearty Burgundy and calling whites “Chablis,” it’s earned a negative connotation.
    2. Reality: Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy, is known for its steely whites. So, today anyone who refers to a white Chardonnay that’s “un-oaked,” this is what is meant by Chablis-style.
  10. From French Together site: First of all, and quite logically, French people do not say “cheers” when toasting. Instead you can use “santé” (health). This is the most used words but some great alternatives include :
    1. A la tienne (to yours => to your health).
    2. A la vôtre (to yours but in a formal way this time)
    3. A votre santé (to your health formal)
    4. A ta santé (to your health) informal