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Food & Wine: Drink These 50 Wines to Be a French Wine Expert

Beaune Greves Vigne de l'Enfant Jesus Bottle with glass drawn with soil sample

Food & Wine Magazine

Drink These 50 Wines to Be a French Wine Expert

A bottle-by-bottle crash course in everything you’ll ever need to know about French wine.

By Ray Isle

The world of French wine is dauntingly vast. To learn every aspect of it, you’d need an entire wine shop, and a lifetime as well. Yet drinking wine, from anywhere, without knowing something about the wines of France is like going to the movies with a blindfold on; you’re missing a lot. Even your favorite California Cabernets and Argentine Malbecs, after all, are made with grapes that originated in France.

Thankfully, learning about wine isn’t like learning calculus. All you really need is a corkscrew and a glass (though a friend or two who’s willing to share a bottle never hurts). Plus, French wine is endlessly fascinating. If you try the 50 wines here, or even a fair percentage of them, you’ll never be daunted by the French wine section on a restaurant list ever again. So, wine glasses out! Class is in session.

Le Plus Grand

Look, life is short, right?

2017 Bouchard Père & Fils Beaune Grèves Vigne De L’enfant Jésus Premier Cru ($150) 
No wine education is complete without trying a top Burgundy. This tiny plot of vines was named in honor of the birth of France’s Louis XIV; the wine from it is gorgeously floral—violets and roses— with wild strawberry notes.

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