France does for wine what diamonds do for a girl's complexion. A bottle of French wine served on a special occasion whispers elegance, self-assurance and refinement. It may be an accident of geography, a climatic miracle and an almost compulsive attention to detail that's brought France to the position of premier wine producer in the world. With more than 17.5 percent of world production, whatever the French are doing, they're doing it very well. Per capita, the French consume five times more wine than folks in the U.S., so they know their wines inside and out.
Let's part company with a brief list of French winemaking regions that reads like a travel brochure. If this doesn't make you thirsty for a glass of French wine in a charming bistro, nothing will: Bordeaux, Margaux, Medoc, Beaujolais, St. Julien, Pauillac, Sauternes, Burgundy, Chablis and Champagne.
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The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident caused a measurable but harmless increase in the levels of a radioactive isotope in a few bottles of California wine.