The Range of French Wine
The scale of French wine
Regulating French Wine
Appellation d'Origine Controlee (AOC)
Vins Delimites de Qualite Superieure (VDQS)
Vins de Pays
Vins de Tables
Special Wines
Reading a French Wine Label
The Wine Trade In France
The Language Of France
The Essentials Of France

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Everywhere in the world that wine is made, France is the standard of comparison. Wherever a wine list is drawn up, France seems to belong naturally at the beginning. A generation ago, it could be confidently asserted that France made all the best wines of the world, with the traditional exceptions of the white wines of Germany and the fortified ones of Iberia. Now, France has competitors as well as imitators, even at the very top level of quality. But all would-be makers of great wines aim to match and surpass those of France, and this dominance, a more subtle form of influence than sheer quality leadership, seems unshakeable.

In Cape Town and San Francisco, Sydney and Auckland, winetasters assemble classic French bottles to put their local wines in perspective. In the same places and thousands more, wine merchants will stock French wines, both great and small, to meet the demand both from wine lovers seeking quality and from the wider public whose knowledge of wine may be limited, but who know that France and wine are synonymous.

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