I Love French Wine and Food - A Midi Viognier

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If you are looking for fine French wine and food, consider the Languedoc-Roussillon region of south central France. You may find a bargain, and I hope that you'll have fun on this fact-filled wine education tour in which we review a local white Viognier.

Among the eleven wine-growing regions of France Languedoc-Roussillon ranks largest in actual area and is number four in wine grape acreage. This area, which includes the Midi, was once known for producing huge quantities of questionable quality wine called vin ordinaire. Now, however, in part due to the influence of Australian winemakers, the region is producing more and more fine wine. Like Alsace and unlike most other regions of France, many Languedoc-Roussillon wines, including the one reviewed below, indicate their grape variety on the label.

I Love French Wine and Food - A Provence Bandol

If you are looking for fine French wine and food, consider the world famous Provence region in southeastern France. You may even find a bargain wine in this sun-drenched ideal tourist location, marred only by the number of tourists. I hope that you'll have fun on this fact-filled wine education tour of this French candidate for paradise in which we review a local red wine based on the red Mourvedre grape.

Among France's eleven wine-growing regions Provence ranks ninth in acreage if you include the island of Corsica, which most people do in spite of their considerable differences. Provence is synonymous with rose wine, and although its percentage is declining, happily according to many wine lovers. Over 50% of Provence wine is rose, or as some might say, pink. Many of its wines are pink and flabby, but others are not. The region is home to dozens of grape varieties, often not found elsewhere. With an average of three thousand hours of sun a year, a lot of Provence wines taste baked.

I Love French Wine and Food - A Touraine (Loire Valley) White

If you are looking for fine French wine and food, consider the Loire Valley region of central France. You may find a bargain, and I hope that you'll have fun on this fact-filled wine education tour in which we review a white Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay from Touraine in the eastern part of the region.

Among France's eleven wine-growing regions the Loire Valley ranks third in total acreage devoted to vineyards. Given that France's longest river the Loire runs for 620 miles (one thousand kilometers) across the country, in many ways it could be thought of as a series of regions. Here they are running from west to east: Nantais whose primary grape is the white Muscadet, Anjou-Saumur whose primary grapes are the white Chenin Blanc and the red Cabernet Franc, Touraine whose primary white grapes are Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc and whose primary red grape is Cabernet Franc, and Central Vineyards whose primary white grape is Sauvignon Blanc and whose primary red grape is Pinot Noir. We will try to review at least one wine from each of these four areas.

I Love Italian Wine and Food - Northern Veneto

If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the Veneto region of northern Italy on the Gulf of Venice. Venice is of course its best-known city and one of the most popular tourist destinations on earth. But the Veneto region has a lot more to offer. You'll find many, many excellent tourist attractions and you won't have to fight huge crowds. With a little luck you'll avoid tourist traps and come back home feeling that you have truly visited Italy. This article examines tourist attractions in northern Veneto. Be sure to read our companion articles on southern Veneto, on that Shakespearean city of Verona, and on the university city of Padua.

We start our tour of northern Veneto in Marostica, northeast of Vicenza and northwest of Venice. Then we head basically east, first to Bassano del Grappa, on to Asolo, and finally southeast to Treviso.

I Love French Wine and Food - A Rhone Valley Crozes-Hermitage

If you are looking for fine French wine and food, consider the Rhone Valley region of southeastern France. You may find a bargain, and I hope that you'll have fun on this fact-filled wine education tour in which we review a Crozes-Hermitage red wine from the northern Rhone Valley.

Among France's eleven wine-growing regions the Rhone Valley ranks second in acreage. The region extends 125 miles (200 kilometers) along the Rhone River. This region is actually composed of two parts, the north and the south whose wines tend to be quite different. The northern Rhone Valley is quite narrow. Its major red grape variety is Syrah, while its major white variety is Viognier. The northern Rhone Valley produces some of the best red wines in all France, and according to its fan club, some of the best red wines on earth. The southern Rhone Valley produces about 95% of the Rhone Valley wines. This is the kingdom of grape blending. For example the famous Chateauneuf-Du-Pape AOC wine may be made from up to thirteen different grape varieties.