French wine vs. Italian wine
France and Italy pride themselves on their wines. But, there has always seemed to be a debate on which among the two produces the best wines. At one time or another, you may have come across a group of people seriously arguing on which is the best brand without coming into an agreement. So if you’re wondering deep down inside which wine is truly better, here’s how we find out:
The best imported French wines you can find on the shelves in any wine store often belong to one of the following categories: Burgundy, Bordeaux, Alsace, Rhone Valley, and The Loire. On the other hand, when looking for Italian wines you will likely encounter typical Italian names like Super Tuscans: Viticcio, Antinori, Sassicaia, and Tenuta dell’ Ornellaia; Amarone and Pinot Grigio, Barrolo and Barbaresco. Basically, there are several other things which make these wines to differ:
Grapes used in their production
This is what generally differentiates the two wines. The truth of the matter is that French and Italian wines are not made from the same type of grapes varieties. When you talk of the Italian wines, they possess a large array of over 350 grape varieties and some of the commonly used include Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera. France on the other side is the main source of the many grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Grenache, Syrah and Pinot Noir that are now planted throughout the world. In the recent years, Italians have gone an extra mile and are making wines made from mixing Italian and French grapes. For example, the Super Tuscans group of wines is made of Sangiovese grape blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The end result is a very tasty and rather expensive imported Italian wine.
Terroir and climatic conditions
The physical geography where grapes are being grown is also another key difference between Italian and French wines. Even if the grapes were to be grown across different regions of the same country, still there would be the huge effect of terroir on wine. This is basically because the soil, as well as its composition matters a great deal. France grows grapes in the upper northern part of the country, where the weather tends to be cooler, while the main wine regions of Italy are in the far southern parts where climate is generally warmer. Therefore, climatic conditions also have a significant effect on the quality of wine manufactured.
Manufacturing procedure (Style)
The procedures involved in making wine in France and Italy are very different. From a general perspective, Italians have always preferred making wines that are bolder with highly concentrated tannins, however due to the high influence from USA manufacturers; they switched to using oak barrels for aging, which consequently lead them to producing much softer wines than before. French manufacturing industries on the other side, have consistently used barrel aging because they always aim to produce more elegant wines.
In most cases, some people assume that just because the wine is expensive, then the wine is the best. Even though good wines are prized high, that isn’t always the case. French wines seem to be more expensive and are usually denoted to a region in France. The Italian wines seem to pair excellently with cuisine, valued nicely and are moving towards French wines, while French wines are often accompanied well with the cheeses of the region.
Now, it is safe to say that French wines are the most preferred due to the fact that they have consistently maintained their originality despite facing stiff competition and new trends being imposed on the wine-making industry. The wines they produce usually range from expensive high-end wines to more modest wines that are sold accepted internationally. In fact, all of their wines are warmly accepted in many countries in the word. Italian side has neglected some of their national wine marks such as the Grosso, Nebbiolo, Fiano, and Sangiovese which have clearly shown to perform pretty poorly outside Italy, for instance, they have received a bad rep in the United States and probably elsewhere compared to the French wines. Not that it wasn’t somewhat deserved: Many bottles of these wines are mass-produced, dull stuff.
Now you know French wines are the best.