Part of our plan for our “Big Europe Trip” in 2012 is to learn new things as we travel along. We’re not planning an A-level in European History, or anything like that. But we do want to try to learn a little about each region as we pass through it.
Exploring the wines of France would seem to be the perfect way to fulfil this learning goal! Drink wine, learn stuff. What could be better?
To that end, we bought a copy of The Wine Regions Of France to take along with us. But it’s got me tempted already!
The book starts with a short guide to all things wine-related – terminology, history of wine, an overview of the main grape varities and tasting information. There’s just enough information to get a basic understanding, without getting bogged down in too much wine-geekiness.
The book then progresses through the different wine-producing regions, explaining for each region what wines are produced there and what their key characteristics are. It also includes information on the main towns, villages and vineyards to visit, as well as details of shopping, eating and sightseeing opportunities along the way. What I like about these listings is that the ‘What to See & Do’ sections seem to cover lesser known, quirkier stuff than the main guidebooks typically cover. It might suggest swimming in a lake, walks along a canal or underground caves to visit rather than all the main tourist hotspots. There’s a comprehensive list of local markets for each region too, so with a bit of pre-planning you can pass through a town or village on market day and stock up on all sorts of mouth-watering tastiness (as well as wine!).
All in all, this book offers the beginner an easy way to discover a little bit more about the wines they find as they travel through France, and is a great way to add some focus points to a French holiday.