A Simple Guide to French White Wine
France is an ordered country, and despite the seeming chaos of French wine. There are different types of white wine varieties produced.
One of the oldest wine growing countries in the world, France offers a variety of Old World wines made from a vast array of grapes in multiple styles. When most people think of French wines, two or three regions probably come to mind; however, French wine extends far beyond Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne.
Given below is a list of French white wine. These types of white wines are produced from different varieties of grapes that are produced in different wine growing regions of France. They are all of finest quality and they have different flavors and aroma.
French White Wine Types:
Chardonnay was the most popular white grape through the 1990’s. It can be made sparkling or still. Chardonnay is one of the best and most well-known French wine. It is made from Chardonnay grapes which is a green-skinned grape. It was originally cultivated in the Bordeaux region of France. French Chardonnay is one of the finest white wine and it is characterized by its full-bodied taste. French Chardonnay has hints of honey, green apple, pear and oak in its flavor. It is best paired with fish and seafood dishes and also with cheeses like Gruyere and Brie.
Typical taste of the different types of chardonnay: voluptuous. Chardonnay wines are often wider-bodied (and more velvety) than other types of dry whites, with rich citrus (lemon, grapefruit) flavors. Fermenting in new oak barrels adds a buttery tone (vanilla, toast, coconut, toffee). Tasting a USD 20 Californian Chardonnay should give citrus fruit flavors, hints of melon, vanilla, some toasty character and some creaminess. Burgundy whites can taste very different.
Another excellent French wine is Sauvignon Blanc. It has a slightly herbal aroma and subtle flavors of green apple and blackcurrant. It is a light white wine with a clean and crisp flavor. It is made from green-skinned Sauvignon Blanc grapes that was originally cultivated in the Bordeaux region of France. It is best paired with spicy and creamy food like rich soups and stews.
Typical taste in varietal wine: sauvignon blanc normally shows a herbal character suggesting bell pepper or freshly mown grass. The dominating flavors range from sour green fruits of apples, pears and gooseberries through to tropical fruits of melon, mango and blackcurrant. Quality unoaked Sauvignon Blancs will display smokey qualities; they require bright aromas and a strong acid finish and are best grown in cool climates.
Chenin Blanc is a well-known French wine that is made from Chenin Blanc grapes which is cultivated in the Loire valley in France. It is a semi dry to sweet wine that has a subtle flavor of pears, apples and gooseberries. It has a crisp taste and is well-balanced in terms of flavor and aroma. It is mostly served with fish and poultry dishes. The sweeter Chenin Blanc can be used as a dessert wine too.
Perhaps one of the best known French wine, Pinot Blanc is well liked because of its light and mellow taste. This top rated white wine is made from Pinot Gris grapes and it has a complex nutty flavor with undertones of green apple and honey. It pairs well with seafood and white fish dishes and also goes well with cheeses.
Sémillon is another fine white wine from France. It is made from Sémillon grapes that are golden skinned. It is available both as dry white wine and sweet white wine. As a dry white wine it has a clean and crisp flavor and is mostly paired with appetizers. The sweeter variety of Sémillon wine is more complex with fruity undertones and nutty flavor.
Typical taste: the wine varietal features distinct fig-like character. Sémillon is often blended with sauvignon blanc to delimit its strong berry-like flavors.