As I kicked off the second contest for the recently launched iPad app “Know the Savvy Sommelier” on my favorite French wine varietals, it got me thinking as to what makes French wines so unique.
Some interesting stats on the French wine industry I pulled together for the upcoming Wines of France class I’m teaching on Monday March 7th at Savvy Cellar Wines in Mountain View, CA:
- France ranks first in world-wide wine production (above all other countries)
- They have the second most acres under vine (second to Spain) and account for 11% of all vineyards in the world
- France is the second highest exporter of wine (behind Italy)
- France ranks second in worldwide wine consumption (per capita consumption is 53.8 litres per year)
All this from a country that is roughly the size of Texas!
But my fascination with French wines has less to do with industry statistics and more to do with how wine is integral to the culture & history of France and how France is the standard & role model for wine around the world (as evidenced by):
- French wine laws
- The number and variety of French wine grape varietals
- Wine-making and cooperage techniques that have vast and steady influence on all winemakers
So what are my favorite French grape varietals and wines? I start with Vouvray, which is made from Chenin Blanc. I love it because of its versatility: it can be sweet or dry, still or sparkling and has great expression of acidity. Next up is the much beloved Pinot Noir from its native home in Burgundy. It one of the world’s classic wines, expressive, rich in history, worthy of fine food and age-worthy. See if you can guess my other favorite French wine varietals in this week’s contest on “Know the Savvy Sommelier” iPad app and win discounts on glasses of French wine at Savvy Cellar Wine Bar & Wine Shop in downtown Mountain View, CA.
What are your favorite French wines? Come learn more and taste French wines with me in the Wines of France class on Monday March 7th in Mountain View!