Wine (lat.vinum) is an alcoholic beverage (strength: natural - 9-16% vol., Fortified - 16-22% vol.), Obtained by full or partial alcoholic fermentation of grape or fruit juice (sometimes with the addition of alcohol and others substances - the so-called "fortified wine"). The science that studies wine is called oenology.
The word France and wine have become a culinary synonym, just as Russia is for vodka, the United States for hamburger, and Germany for beer and sausages. Let's consider the main ones.
No wine is produced in France. Natural sweet wines are produced in the vineyards of Roussillon, today it is almost 90% of all French production in this area. The climate of the area and its soil give the grown grapes a high sugar content - about 25 percent. Wine can potentially contain up to 14 percent alcohol. But in the process of fermentation, they stop by adding alcohol to the fermenting wort, which can give the wine strength from 15 to 21 percent. Muscat contains not less than 125 g / l of sugar, in other natural sweet wines - not less than 45 g / l. One of the most famous wines, Banyuls, can be cited as an example.
Natural French wines generally do without sugar. This is not true, the chaptalization method is often used in the production process, during which sugar is added to the wort. Thanks to this approach, the wine acquires the necessary strength - from 8.5 to 15 percent. Table wines can hardly be called exquisite, they are usually not served in restaurants, but they still meet a certain quality bar.
According to the rules of etiquette, red wine should be served with meat and poultry, white wine with fish and seafood. French wine experts believe that white Riesling or dry Vouvray are fine with pork dishes. Veal can be served with the same wines or white Burgundy and Chardonnay. In addition to traditional red wines, rabbit meat is accompanied by white Cotes de Blaye and Cotes de Provence. Dry white wines are well suited for chicken in sour cream with mushrooms, and grilled meat will get a new taste together with fruity white wines, for example Cotes du Luberon. Speaking of seafood, it is advised to drink anchovies not only with white wine, red and rosé wines from the south of France are well suited. If fish or sole are prepared with red wine, then such a dish should be washed down with wine from the same grape variety.
Before serving, white wine should be chilled, but red wine, on the contrary, is served at room temperature. This is correct if the room temperature is 16-18 degrees, but usually it is still 20-30 degrees. For Bordeaux wines the best temperature is up to 18 degrees, for Burgundy - up to 14, for light red wines - 13-15 degrees, champagne is best served at 6-8 degrees, and dry and rosé wines - 10-12 degrees.
Cognac should be eaten with lemon, and champagne with chocolate. Oh, this myth is the most ancient, it became part of the culture of alcohol consumption. In fact, most wines, like champagne, do not go well with chocolate. Only very sweet natural wines made from Grenache grapes go well with chocolate. An unwritten rule states that wine should be sweeter than the dish it is served with, and not seem too dry in comparison. Cognac is just the best for chocolate, there is even the so-called rule of four "c": cognac, cafe, cigare, chocolat (cognac, coffee, cigar or cigarette and chocolate). As you can see, there is not a word about lemon in this row, it is clearly superfluous here.
Wine and cognac must not be diluted with water. In fact - it is possible, however, we are talking about not the most expensive wines and cognac. In the middle of the 20th century in France it was considered normal to drink cognac during the day, diluted with pure or mineral water. This drink was called fine a l'eau. And expensive cognacs were never diluted, serving them as digestifs. Cognac combined with ice and water is a good aperitif, but this combination refers to a young cognac of VS, VSOP quality as a last resort. It is good to dilute inexpensive young red and white wines with a high level of acidity.
The taste of wine is not conveyed by words. Professional tasters have a very rich vocabulary. In A. Kuptsov's monograph "Wines of France" the following characteristics are applied to the drink: generous, honest, skinny, tired, strict, solid, flat, pretty, lean, tasty, fleshy, lively, female, green, fatty, nervous. The wine is credited with the taste of light, the color of the tiles, the smell of gun flint, the tones of oriental spices, cocoa, almonds, freshly roasted coffee, honey, pineapple, cloves, caramel, vanilla, candied berries, toffee, bread crust, the smell of gun flint. Believe me, a true connoisseur will be able to deeply, in detail and elegantly describe the taste of a noble wine.