How to buy French wine in a supermarket
You’ll notice that French wine - and most old world wine for that matter - rarely shows a grape name. In France, at a certain point, we were expected to know what came from where. The land which the wine was grown in - the soil, the climate, the environment, the terroir, was more important than the grape itself.
Here’s a quick tour of what grapes to expect:
Burgundy: Pinot Noir ®, Chardonnay (W)
Bordeaux: Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot ®
Loire: Sauvignon Blanc (W)
Alsace: Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gewurztraminer (W)
Rhone & Provence: Syrah, Grenache (R, r)
The Languedoc-Roussillon (R/W) is the biggest wine producing region in the world. Next to Rhone & Provence, it’s a hot climate region where you’ll find a wide variety of grapes grown.
While many bottles will opt for a more granular description, a specific village within the region for example, you should be able to find one of the main areas to start.