Drinking in France…a few interesting facts. - 28/07/18

Wine is considered an important part of the French meal. “Wine …the intellectual part of the meal.” – Alexandre Dumas, 1873.

The legal drinking age is officially 18 for spirits and strong liquors (21 percent alcohol), and 16 for most other alcohol drinks, such as beer and wine

In times of celebration, the French always drink Champagne. The first written reference to Champagne was English, not French. In 1676, Etherege wrote in praise of ‘sparkling Champagne’ which ‘Quickly recovers, Poor laughing lovers, Makes us frolic and gay, and drowns all our sorrows’.

Grand Cru (great growth) is a regional wine classification that designates the best or most promising vineyards, with the term having varying meanings in different parts of France. In Burgundy or Alsace it refers to the best vineyards, while in Bordeaux its meaning varies by the specific region and is not always the highest classification.

The AOC, Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, is a system of labelling products – wine, cheese, chickens, olive oils, potatoes and even lentils. It serves as a guarantee of the origin of a product and its quality.

Côte-Rôtie is a French wine AOC in the northern Rhône region of France. The earliest record of wine making in the region dates to the 2nd century BC when the Romans settled in the regions around Vienne. Côte-Rôtie means the ‘roasted side’ and refers to the long hours of sunlight that these steep slopes receive.