This is the first of two parts looking at ways to decipher the world’s wine regions without making your head hurt. The second part will run on Monday.
One of the most difficult concepts to get across about wine is the idea of wine regions. You can get someone to acknowledge that wine is different depending on where it’s from, but understanding that it is something else entirely. And I won’t even mention there are more than 3,200 wine regions in the world.
Yes, they’ll say, they realize cabernet sauvignon is different from merlot which is different from chardonnay. But doesn’t all French wine (or California wine or whatever) taste the same?
No, it doesn’t. But given how complicated wine regions can be — Quick: Name the sub-AVAs within the Sonoma AVA — and it’s easy to see why people give up in confusion.
Which is why the Wine Curmudgeon exists. Wine geography does not have to be a barrier to buying and enjoying wine. It’s helpful to know that the Rhone is divided into north and south, but not essential.