A Beginner’s Guide to Ordering French Wine

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Yannick Thomas, GM of The Twisted Frenchman (photo credit: Hal B. Klein)

Ordering wine in an upscale restaurant can be intimidating when there are hundreds of options. When it comes to French wine, having a basic understanding of the regions in which they were produced is essential. Yannick Thomas, Michelin star-experienced General Manager of The Twisted Frenchman, a French fine dining restaurant in Pittsburgh with a 3,000 bottle wine selection, is sharing his favorite French bottles of wine according to region.

Betting on a Bordeaux?

o Bordeaux: Largest growing wine region in France that produces Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscadelle, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot.

o For those who drink: Full-bodied reds and dry or sweet whites.

o Thomas suggests: Château de Guilhemanson Saint-Émilion Merlot if you’re looking for a complex wine with hints of spicy flavors throughout. Clos la Coutale Cahors is one of his favorite Malbec’s with savory and tart tannins and hints of blackberry and plum.

You Can Always Bank on a Burgundy.

o Burgundy: Located in Eastern France, wines from this region include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Gamay.

o For those who drink: Light to medium-bodied reds and dry whites.

o Thomas suggests: Maurice ecard Bourgogne Pinot Noir, a timeless and elegant wine that exudes fruit aromas including citrus fruit and crisp apple with hints of nuttiness. Louis Latour is one of the best Chardonnay’s available, a refined wine that is a yellow color with hints of green revealing fresh aromas of pear and white peach.

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Photo credit: The Twisted Frenchman

Thinking About the Loire Valley?

o Loire Valley: Known for white wines grown along the Atlantic Coast, wines include Sauvignon Blancs, Chenin Blancs and Cabernet Francs.

o For those who drink: Light-bodied and tangy whites with fresh and crisp flavors.

o Thomas suggests: Cremant de Loire Cabernet Franc because of its light body, soft tannins and smooth acidity. Hints of violet, licorice, cherry and pepper make up its aroma profile. If you’re in the mood for a Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre Jean Reverdy et Fils is ripe and soft with a style that highlights flavors of tropical fruit and mineral texture.

All About the Alsace.

o Alsace: This region produces primarily white wine because of its Germanic influence including Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinto Blanc.

o For those who drink: Medium to full-bodied whites with fruity and florally flavors.

o Thomas suggest: Meyer-Fonne Riesling, a dry white with lingering honeycomb, jasmine and lime or Pierre Sparr Pinot Gris, a Pinot Grigio with a soft and round texture that is modestly sweet with nice acidity.

Written by

Tony Bowles is one of the youngest sought out journalists in the media world. He focuses on lifestyle, travel, entertainment, food and more! Based out of NYC.

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