France is known for having wonderful food, such as cheese and bread, but it is also known for its amazing wine. This week I had the chance to try a few different types of French wine with my program at a private wine tasting. The event was at a small restaurant called Tours de Cuisine in the eleventh district, where the owner taught us how to taste and examine wine properly. Overall, we tried three white wines and two red.
Each wine was served with a different type of food that was meant to complement the wine perfectly. For instance, with the first white wine called Revilly, we ate chevre (goat) cheese; with a red wine called La Mule, we ate a pâté spread with bread. Our host explained that French wine is always supposed to accompany food. Each region of France is known for one distinct type of wine and cheese, so if you are looking for something to eat with a certain type of wine, your best bet is to go with the type of cheese or other food that that region is known for! When I asked my program director more about this topic, she told me that the French will always serve food with wine, even plain potato chips. The point is that the food is supposed to be tasted directly with wine, giving it a completely different flavor.
Before this wine tasting, I had never realized how many different types of wine were made in France. Each region creates a totally unique flavor of wine by using different kinds of grapes and growing the grapes in a unique climate and soil. And each wine has its own distinct combination of look, smell, and taste! Our host taught us how to evaluate the wine by examining its color, clarity, and smell. He even taught us how to taste wine properly; apparently just drinking the wine isn’t enough! After you take a sip, you slurp the wine carefully in your mouth (while making a funny sound, of course). This creates oxygen in the wine, giving it a different taste than before.
After being exposed to really good French wine, it’ll be hard to go back to drinking cheap wine that you can find at the grocery store! I’m grateful that I was able to learn more about French gastronomy since eating food is France’s favorite passtime.