When you think of red wine, we bet the country that first pops in your head is France! France is one country where most of the people equate red wine with tradition and diversity. It has evolved as part of life, culture and diet since ages, shaping the country’s disposition. As an enduring cultural symbol of fine life, the role of wine has evolved over time, changing from an important source of nutrition to a cultural complement to food. Though it may not have had origins in the country, red wine was created by French winemakers by fermenting grapes and turning it into a work of art.
Wine is an integral part of French culture where buying a bottle is a ceremony and tasting it is an art. The attitude of “savoir vivre” is intrinsically connected with the culture and life philosophy of the French people. Wine drinking is a metaphor for describing and assessing the French culture today. Wine is also described by some as a national product, or as a ‘totem drink.’ Interestingly, wine characterises Frenchness in much the same way as being born in France, speaking French or fighting for liberty.
Every single wine has a unique character to explore such as its grape variety, soil, planting, yields and wine-making. Since the culture of wine is based on knowledge and on rituals, French natives often get to know their national wines from the previous generation, who take pleasure in introducing new generations to this national art of drinking wine. It is believed that the French wine has ancient origins and the earliest production of red wine using the fermentation process may have occurred around 6000BC, principally in Georgia in the Caucasus region between Europe and Asia and in Iran. If you wish to know the progress of French wine today, you might have to check the extent of the French land under the grape vines though gauging that is extremely complicated owing to the expansion and contractions of vineyards during different time periods.
At present, there are more than 5,000 varieties of French wine. Pinot Noir, Gamay, Syrah, Grenache and Merlot are few of the best red wines of the country. Today, there are eight main wine-growing regions in France. With several centuries passing, the art of wine making has spread to Spain, Germany and parts of Britain.
Since French wine is universally acknowledged as the best, one of the joys of visiting France is the chance to relish them. There are wine bars, wine clubs and wine activities in France like never before. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags right away to the land of wine and good life!