Top 10 Facts Any Wine Lover Should Know About French Wine

Between Bordeaux and Beaujolais, and Champagne and Chablis, where does one even begin to get their facts straight about the vast world of French wine? With so much to know about the world’s most prestigious wine country, who has the time to learn it all?

Fear not… the following 10 facts will take you from newbie to at least a novice in just a few minutes.

(image courtesy of france.com)

 

10. French Wine is Known to Be the Benchmark For Which All Great Wines Are Compared

Many people know that France is considered to be the among the worldwide leaders of fine cuisine, but in the wine world, they are also used as the benchmark to which most fine wines are judged. 

 

9. The French Invented the Term “Terroir”

The term terroir is defined as “the environmental conditions, especially soil and climate, in which grapes are grown and that give a wine its unique flavor and aroma.” It was coined by the French when they discovered that wine expresses a specific quality relative to its geographical place of growth.

 

8. Thank Your Local Clergymen For Your Favorite Beverage

Back in the day, most of the vines and vineyards were owned and tended to by the Catholic church and monasteries. Today, when we want to celebrate a major victory by our favorite sports team, or when we feel the urge to splurge on an expensive bottle to impress a hot date, we know who to call… our old buddy, Dom Pérignon.   

But what many people do not know, is that Pérignon was a monk that was a pioneer of wine making techniques, many of which are still used today.

 

7. Wine Fraud is a Thing

Back in the early 1900’s so many people were trying to pawn off cheap wine as more expensive wine, that the French decided to make an entire system of wine rules and laws to try to regulate all the wine being produced (more on that system later).

 

6. France is First Among Wine Producing Countries

France produces approximately 8 billion bottles of wine each year, making it the leading producer of wine in the world.

 

5. France is Divided Into Three Parts

Both climatically and geographically, France is divided into 3 parts; Northern France, Southern France, and the Atlantic Coast. Each region has its own unique terroir, grape varietals and identity.

 

4. A Plant Eating Insect Almost Single-Handedly Ruined All French Wine

Back in 1860, a microscopic insect called Phylloxera nearly destroyed the entirety of France’s vineyards. Thankfully, however, the good ole’ USA stepped in and saved the day by offering our Phylloxera resistant root stock to graft their ailing grape vines onto. Still today, many of France’s wine regions are half of their original size before the outbreak.

 

3. There Are Six Big Players in French Wine

While the exact number may be debatable, there are anywhere between six and nine major wine regions in France. However, it is undeniable that the following six regions are the key players in France’s wine game…

  • Bordeaux
  • Burgundy
  • Champagne
  • The Loire Valley
  • The Rhone Valley
  • Alsace

Some of the other regions that many may consider to be key players are Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence. Also, there is the age-old debate of whether Beaujolais is part of Burgundy, or its own entity.

 

2. The Forming of the AOC Changed the Wine Game Forever

The French developed a set of laws and regulations called the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) designed to uphold the standards t

hat French wine became known for. Based on terroir and regional varieties, rules were put into place to ensure that all wines produced are what they claim to be, all of which are held to a clear set of standards. From table wine to the most prestigious of wines, you can rest assured that thanks to the AOC, you get what you pay for.

 

1. France Loves Ranking Things Even More Than I Do

Back in 1855 Napoleon III decided to unveil the mother of all rankings: The Médoc Classification of 1855. Based on wine reputation and prices, the best Chateaux were ranked from 1st to 5th Growths (Cru).

This classification has remained in place ever since, with only one notable edit… Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, which was originally a second-growth and advanced to a first growth in 1973 after much persistence from Baron Rothschild himself.

Ranking the Cast of Big Brother Canada 5 (The Underdogs)

Sorry friends and family, but it’s that time of the year again, where for three months I will be talking with a Canadian accent and saying things like “it’s Aboot time you showed up,” or “get your arse out of my seat.” And you remember that time of the year that my fridge is constantly stocked with LaBatt Blue and Molson, and I insist on asking our waiter if they serve Poutine? Yep, its that time. You guessed it, Big Brother Canada is back, and I’m about to get full on Canuck on your asses. Ya know, eh?

This year Big Brother Canada dropped the bomb that they will be filling the house with eight returning players looking to get redemption for their first unsuccessful stint in the house. And they will be playing against eight unlucky newbies, most of which will be inevitably evicted by week five.

The difference in caliber between the vets and the newbies seems so astronomically out of place that I would be willing to bet a lifetime supply of Tim Horton’s coffee and doughnuts that one of the eight vets will be handed the title as the winner of the fifth season of the reality show.

Nevertheless, I will rank the odds of each of the 16 contestant’s chances that they will join Jillian, Jon,  Sarah and the Paquette brothers as Big Brother Canada champions.

 

THE UNDERDOGS

16. Dre

(globaltv.com)

 

Dre will enter the house and become an easy target because of her loud, boisterous personality. Her over-confidence will lead her to believe that the whole house loves her, when in actuality, they will find her annoying and an easy first boot.

“The whole house will love me and want to be me” says Dre in her pre-season interview. Well, I would be willing to bet that not one person in the house will want to be Dre on the first eviction night.

Additionally, Dre mentions Cass and Neda in her interview, so she will be itching to work with them. The vet guys, not yet wanting to target their female counterparts early on, will see Dre as a liability, and send her ass packing as quickly as possible. And Neda and Cass will gladly offer her us as a sacrificial slaughter.

If her answer to the question of “What three words best describes you?” is an indication for how much of a train wreck Dre is going to be, then I am convinced Dre will be evicted before St. Patrick’s Day Weekend.

Her three words: hilarious, extra caring (but I pretend not to care.)

That may be the all-time stupidest answer to that age old question.

FINAL PREDICTION: First Boot

 

15. William

m/www.ryanscountdowns.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/William-BB-Can-5.png?w=374 374w, https://i2.wp.com/www.ryanscountdowns.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/William-BB-Can-5.png?resize=239%2C300 239w" sizes="(max-width: 173px) 100vw, 173px" /> (globaltv.com)

 

First off, I get that Willaim is French Canadian, and French is his first language and all, but I am pretty sure he just made a noise when he said his name. Is there any way that is possibly how he says his name? Watch the first 3 seconds of the clip below to help you understand my confusion…

William has thought long and hard at home about what his strategy going into the Big Brother Canada house is going to be, and it is revolutionary. This guy must be a superfan because the amount of Big Brother knowledge one must obtain to help devise such a scheming plan of attack is very next level thinking. So what is this plan that William has that is all but guaranteed to make him one of the greatest Big Brother players of all time?

“I’m going to try to find thing… everything in the house. Like if there’s not a secret room, like, I really thought about that at home, like, think I’m going to press every wall to see if there is something like hidden in… somewhere.”

Well don’t get too nervous about losing your title as Best Player Ever just yet Dr. Will, because it looks like Big Brother may have found William’s kryptonite. Could this be the only thing that could take down this Big Brother historian?

“I’m scared of being like, uh…. there’s two things. Always speaking English, and doing things with my mouth.”

FINAL PREDICTION… we will be seeing William pushing and poking every wall on his way out the door, trying to find an eviction safety room by week 3.

 

14. Sindy

(globaltv.com)

 

Cindy with an S has been evicted from Big Brother Canada twice, and from the online reality show, Sequester, twice. She holds the record for most eviction votes received by any contestant in a single season with 20. She is the lowest-ranking returning houseguest of any North American Big Brother series. And she is also the first Big Brother Canada houseguest to be evicted twice in one season, as fellow Big Brother 5 houseguest, Gary Levy made it to the final 2 in Big Brother Canada 1.

Bottom line, Sindy is not good at this stuff. BUT…… she has a fun nickname because she spells her name unconventionally. So let’s keep bringing her back until we can find a better girl named Sarah that spells her name with a C. Carah-with-a-C is so much more fun than Sindy-with-an-S.

FINAL PREDICTION: Pre Jury/First Vet Evicted

After a quick Twitter search, I found a contestant for next season. You’re welcome casting.

(Sarah with a C, potential Big Brother Canada 6 Contestant. twitter.com/CarahAmelie)

 

 

13. Dillon

(globaltv.com)

 

Professional boxer, Dillon, says his biggest strength is “his strength… as a human.” WTF?  He says he wants to win every competition. And we all know about his physical strength “as a human,” so he should be a target from the get-go.

But don’t count out your favorite non-Dillon houseguest yet, because luckily for the rest of the house, Dillon may not fare as well in the mental competitions. Here is an actual phrase that Dillon strung together during his pre season interview with Global….

“… girls want to meet me, guys want to be me. Everybody wants to meet me as far as everything goes……So I think that’s gonna translate well.”

FINAL PREDICTION: He will be the Paul Abrahamian from Big Brother 18, if Paul from BB18 got voted out pre jury.

 

Next 4 houseguests, the dark horses, coming tomorrow. 

And no, I do not have a spreadsheet at home. Thanks to Big Brother Wiki for all the Sindy facts. Not all heroes wear capes.