French wines

French wine and its secrets

Let’s explore French art de vivre at its finest and speak about French wine! It is impossible to mention french art de vivre without speaking about its national pride, wine. It’s beautifully made, has wonderful colors and tastes divine. Wine has accompanied meals since around 8000 years. Throughout Antiquity and ancient civilisation, evidence of the production of wine have been found by numerous researchers. France is with no doubt the nation that mastered the wine art and is renowned for it. Its craft is full of mysteries and embodies the french “je-ne-sais-quoi”. We will debunk the mystery behind the french wine culture so you can call yourself a wine connoisseur. François Rabelais, famous french renaissance writer, said “Never a good man hates good wine”. Where does the color of the wine come from? First of all, why is the wine red, white or rosé? This is certainly one of the first questions people ask themselves about wine: why is it available in white, red, rosé or even orange? Contrary to what one might instinctively think, this cannot be explained by the color of the grape variety. Indeed, whether or not the grapes are white or red in color, their juice will remain white. The differences in the color of the wine are in reality mainly explained by the maceration of the skins of the grapes in the fermentation juice. It is in particular anthocyanins, soluble pigments located in the skin of grapes are the ones responsible for the red color of wine. In terms of color, various parameters are taken into account, such as the grape variety, the results of the vines, the terroir and the climate, the vinification, the aging, the sugar content, the age of the wine. What are the regions that produce french wine? Speaking of regions, there are seventeen that produces wine in France: They are the following; l’Armagnac et le Cognac, Beaujolais et Lyonnais, Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Champagne, Corse, Jura, Languedoc, Lorraine, Poitou-Charentes, Provence, Roussillon, Savoie et Bugey, Sud Ouest, Vallée de la Loire, Vallée du Rhône. The multitude of terroirs with their different grape varieties favors a great diversity of wines that will satisfy everyone’s taste. The differences between the lands and its mineral content will greatly influence the end result. What is the composition of the french wine? Once you know that, it is reasonable to ask yourselves, what is exactly the composition of wine. We know it is made out of grapes, but it is actually a little bit more complicated than that. First of all, wines in France are often made out of a combination of grape varieties that have been studied for their compatibility. As an example, Bordeaux are often made out of the combination of Merlot and Cabernet. When it comes to wine itself, it is mainly composed of water, about 85%, and alcohol (mainly ethanol, but also glycerol, sorbitol, butylene glycol and methanol), about 12-16%. Wines also contain sugars (glucose and fructose), acids (tartaric, citric, acetic, lactic, malic…) and what is called phenolic compounds (tannins, anthocyanins). There are also mineral substances (anions – negative ions, cations – positive ions, and metals) including potassium, sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine, as well as various organic substances. Wine has been recognised to be good for your health once you consume it reasonably of course ! A glass once every now and then only. How to preserve your french wine? If you only drink once in a while, but you bought an amazing bottle on sale do not worry, here is how to preserve your bottle. The main parameters to take into account are temperature (ideally between 12 and 13 ° Celsius), humidity (70-75% humidity), darkness and absence of vibrations. And the bottles must absolutely be stored lying down to keep the cork moist and thus prevent it from drying out and losing airtightness, or even falling into the bottle. How to consume wine? Drinking french wine: The rule with wine is usually to drink the red one with meats and cheeses, the white one with fish. Nevertheless, knowing which wine to drink is a proper art and the profession of the one we call “sommelier”. Their knowledge covers the entirety of the grape variety, lands and even years of each bottle they encounter. When you are to buy your bottle, do not hesitate to ask for advice to have the best french art de vivre experience. Cooking with french wine : If you don’t plan on drinking it, but cooking with it some typical french dishes, here some information to keep in mind. The choice of red wine depends mainly on the type of cooking you want to achieve. Indeed, for the marinades it will be necessary to opt for a rather full-bodied french wine such as Languedoc red, Côtes-du-Rhône red or Côtes-de-Provence red. While for simmered dishes or your sauces, the choice of a wine from Provence or Bordeaux is more suitable. In general, the more full-bodied the dish, the more wine will be. A Beaujolais, Touraine gamay or Pinot Noir from Burgundy flavor lighter dishes, in particular desserts or poultry. Test our Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil for its freshness and fruitiness. White wine is generally to be used for your sauces or for cooking soups. To choose the best white wine, you must first carefully consult the recipe. If a dry white wine is recommended, you should turn to a light wine. A scent that is too woody could overpower the taste of the food. A southern Chardonnay or a Rhône white would be perfect for making dishes such as risotto. While if we rather need a milder wine, the white wines of the Southwest of France will be perfect. They will bring smoothness and softness to your dishes. Is wine vegan ?  Wine is a unifying product. He is able to bring together people from different cultures and opinions around a table. Although the contents of their plate may be different, it also brings vegetarians and carnivores together for a drink. What about vegans? There are two ways to produce vegan wine: The first is to use vegetable or mineral proteins for splicing the second is to eliminate the fining step in the vinification However, these indications are rarely clearly indicated on the label. It is therefore difficult for a vegan to select his wine. Here are few practical tips to help you navigate the world of French Wine: Organic wine is not necessarily vegan, because it will be able to use organic egg white in the fining process. Natural wines are the closest thing to a vegan wine, as they are generally not fined. But the legislation surrounding natural wines remains unclear and the simple “natural wine” label therefore does not guarantee its vegan quality. The easiest thing for vegans today is still wine to go to kosher wines. In the Jewish religion, animal products are not allowed in wine. The controls are strict and the industry is well established. Finally, some winegrowers display the words “unfinished, unfiltered wine” on their back-label. These wines can then be tasted by our vegan friends! What are the “don’ts”? There are also french wines to avoid when cooking. First of all, wines that are too sweet, they will have no effect on your cooking. Better to keep them for your consumption. The rosé wines should be avoided too, because they do not support cooking well and the result will not be good. Finally stay away from the old wines, very tired, which have lost their aromas will disintegrate by the test of cooking. When enjoying a glass of wine it is essential to pour it into a proper wine glass. The stemmed glass releases the aromas of the wine thanks to its balloon shape. A classic glass will let the aromas fly away. Which is a blasphemy. The glass in bottles is very often tinted to prevent UV rays from passing through and damaging the wine. It is not a reason to let it sit in the sunlight. As mentioned above, your bottle should nicely rest into a cave-like environment. Our tip to seem to pour your glass with elegance: When you are finishing to pour your glass of french wine, doing a little rotation while lifting the bottle up allows you to avoid tarnishing your tablecloth. If you want to know more about french art de vivre, here are some other articles that would interest you.

If you are interested, you can check out our articles on passion cafe french style of living  or french cheeses

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