No trip to France is complete without doing a little tasting of their many excellent wines.
When it comes to wine, there are many imitators, but only one France. Have you any doubts? Then you'd better find out for yourself by tasting your way through these famous regions.
Alsace: Provocative and unique, Alsatian whites can be revelatory. Start with Riesling and Gewrztraminer.
Bordeaux: Bordeaux is justifiably famous for its dry reds, but sample the dry whites, too. For dessert, sumptuously sweet Sauternes could be the ultimate.
Burgundy (Bourgogne): Red Burgundies, made from Pinot Noir, are among the world's most cherished wines, but Chardonnay fans will thank themselves for giving white Burgundy and Chablis a go, as well. If you like fruity reds, you probably already admire Beaujolais and its constituent grape, Gamay.
Champagne: French Champagnes are among the most refined and luxurious sparkling wines in the world. They're made exclusively from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and/or Pinot Meunier grapes.
Loire: Standard-bearers for this important region are Sancerre and Pouilly Fum, both elegant dry whites made from Sauvignon Blanc. Vouvray is a popular Chenin Blanc-based wine.
Languedoc-Roussillon: In addition to the Corbires and Minervois regions, explore the huge range of both reds and whites generally labeled Vin de Pays d'Oc. These wines are often identified by grape variety (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay are the ones to look for here), and many are underpriced.
Rhne: The northern Rhne is admired for powerful redsCte Rtie, Hermitage, and Crozes-Hermitage, all showcasing Syrah. The south offers highly regarded, pricey Chteauneuf-du-Pape, a famous blend, as well as the easygoing red Ctes du Rhne, also a blend. Ross from Tavel are considered some of France's finest.