France has been one of the leading wine making countries in the world for centuries, and is, according to Imperial Wines of London, the number one producer of top class wines almost every year. Virtually all of the most treasured and critically acclaimed sweet, sparkling, white and red wines originate from France, and furthermore, the wine making techniques used by wineries in this country are used as the basis of wine making in dozens of other countries around the globe. There are three main ways in which French and American wines differ.
The first, Imperial Wines of London say, is the way that the wines are named. The majority of French wines are given the same name as the region they come from, such as Burgundy or Bordeaux, whilst American wines are typically named after the grape varieties which have been used to make the wine, such as Merlot or Chardonnay. Imperial Wines Of London
French and American wines also differ in regards to the climate in which the grape varieties are grown. Most French wines are produced in either temperate or cool climate regions, such as Champagne, Loire Valley and Alsace, whilst there are very few American wines grown in these types of climates. Because of the cool climate in France, its wines tend to be higher in acidity, lower in alcohol and lighter bodied than warm climate wines, like those grown in Californian vineyards. As a result of these characteristics, Imperial Wines of London add that French wines are a little easier to pair with food than the high alcohol, full bodied wines of American origin.
There are also differences regarding the emphasis being placed on the grape variety versus the ‘terroir’. French wines always reflect the terroir they were grown in; for instance, wines from Bordeaux are almost always rich, with an aroma of blackcurrants. Additionally, Imperial Wines of London point out that terroir is important is France because of its centuries of traditional winemaking techniques, which differ slightly from one region to another. Conversely, American wines focus on the grape variety, so that a Merlot, for instance, regardless of whether it was grown in Oregon or California, would have the same fundamental characteristics.