Whether at family meals, in restaurants or among wine lovers, clichés die hard in the world of wine. But as we like to help you discover new things about this universe, we're going to debunk it all. After all, we are well placed to know at Flakon: bottling is a source of discord for the French. Let me explain to you why this cliché, among others, is completely wrong.
“Wine in a bottle? And then what else, the red in the fridge?”
Vials are just as good as bottles.
In France, we are proud of our wine culture, and that is normal. But here it is: accustomed to our good old bottles, we forget that the most important thing is not the shape or the capacity of the container, but its conservation capacity.
Oenologists and winegrowers have known it for decades: bottling is an excellent method for preventing the oxidation of wine and preserving all its properties. This is also the preferred method of preservation among oenologists who prefer small quantities to the 75cl of a classic bottle.
Yes: so we only consume the equivalent of one glass and we don't end up with an extra 70cl on our hands, multiplied by so many bottles opened for tasting! You will have understood, it is our bias at Flakon to offer you this method of conservation for more varied and more frequent tastings, without the risk of buying an expensive bottle that you do not like!
“I found a little Pommard for nothing, we’re going to have fun!”
Just because you've heard the name before doesn't mean it's good.
Perhaps you have already found yourself in this situation where a very affordable bottle certified by a prestigious appellation reaches out to you, shouting your name in the second floor of the wine aisle of your favorite Auchan.
Don't be fooled by its deception: an appellation can cover dozens of different areas and there is no guarantee that they are all of the same quality. Take Saint-Émilion: depending on the terroir, the vintage and the winemaker, you can taste the greatest French wines as well as the most infamous piquette.
When choosing your wine, especially in mass distribution, look at the name of the place, estate or castle rather than the village. Look for the winemaker, the opinions on his wines, if there are any. Unless of course if it's a Grand Cru Classé that caught your eye, in which case you will certainly immediately recognize the estate and if not, the price will remind you of it. Finally, check if the vintage is famous or not, but don't limit yourself to the best years, go on an adventure, we sometimes have excellent surprises!
Price is not everything
But beware ! An expensive wine is not always a guarantee of good quality. This is particularly the case in restaurants where we must not forget that the margins on drinks are astronomical and where the most expensive wine is not necessarily the most costly for the restaurateur.
Always take your time, ask for the estates, winegrowers and vintages as for mass distribution, and choose wine by the glass if you are in doubt. If the house has its own sommelier, be sure to ask him all your questions and explain to him what you like and what you are looking for. And above all, if the boss is unable to tell you more about his Chardonnay, drink some water!
And if you want to choose the best for a first date at a restaurant, click here !
“Do you eat fish with a red one? But that’s not okay at all, Bertrand!”
Tuna with tomatoes goes better in Bordeaux than in Chablis.
Fish is eaten with white wine and cheese with a good red. This is one of the received ideas that has a hard core, but far from it. While it is true that baked fish is best served with a lively, creamy white, this is not a general rule, especially since fish and seafood can be cooked in a wide variety of ways. The concern for the pairing between red and fish mainly concerns the reaction between tannins and proteins which differ greatly from those of red meat. Thus, a rather soft red, low in tannins, can do the trick: it is better to turn to a Pinot noir, and therefore rather to a Burgundy. Note that stronger flesh such as tuna or even fish in tomato sauce will go well with a more tannic red and therefore a Bordeaux is entirely possible. Let's go even further, scallops go very well with Champagne.
Cheese and red are no.
What about cheese then? Yes, cheese actually goes much better with white (for 80% of cheeses) due to its acidity which does not go well with tannins. The diversity of French cheese is like the diversity of wines: immeasurable. So don't worry, you have a choice. But this variety comes with a downside: each cheese should have its own wine when the platter arrives. This is why it is absolutely preferable to only offer a few fairly similar cheeses if you cannot afford several wines to accompany them. A tip for pairing properly: it is not uncommon for a cheese to go very well with a wine from its region, such as Comté and Jura Savagnin or Epoisses and Pommard (red certainly but not very tannic).
“Rosé? And then what, a red Alsace to continue?”
Not all tastings have to be great tastings.
Rosé is a decent aperitif but not a real wine, they all taste the same. The disdain for our dear tourmaline-colored wine is beyond measure, even though its winemaking process is the oldest and dates back to Antiquity. For a long time it was considered unworthy of oenological interest and average or even mediocre harvests were given to it. However, it can offer a very diverse range of aromas and flavors when it is good. There are even twelve Grands Crus Classés in Côte de Provence and if rosé is indeed less complex than red or white, it is good to take an interest in it to discover all the subtleties hidden in its lightness of appearance.
16 wine regions, 210 grape varieties, 375 AOC, 59,000 estates
More broadly, don't limit yourself to the classics! Why neglect the “small” wines full of surprises that France and the world hold? It's not just Bordeaux and Burgundy. To appreciate your nose and your palate, of course you have to taste the big ones but also the less big ones and then the small ones. Explore! The Loire, Beaujolais, Provence, Savoie… The more you let yourself be tempted, the more you will refine your senses and your tastes. Of course you will experience disappointment but also astonishment. And the most important thing is, ultimately, to know which wines really make you happy.