The Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is located in the middle stretch of the Loire River in central France.

The area of the Loire Valley comprises about 800 square kilometers (310 sq mi). It is referred to as the Cradle of the French and the Garden of France due to the abundance of vineyards, fruit orchards, and artichoke, and asparagus fields, which line the banks of the river. Notable for its historic towns, architecture, and wines, the valley has been inhabited since the Middle Paleolithic period.


The Loire Valley is the heart of France, famous for its natural beauty, magnificent châteaux and great wine. The region is rich in history and culture: Renaissance writer Rabelais was born here; Joan of Arc led French troops to victory in the Hundred Years’ War in the Loire; and, as the Cradle of the French Language, its residents speak the purest French.


The Loire Valley contains several distinct wine regions, each with its own characteristic grapes, appellations and styles.

The largest, and one of the coolest, wine regions of France also happens to produce some of the most approachable wines in the world. The wines of the Loire Valley burst with character and complexity. Each of the white wines of the regions combines citrus, stone fruit, and tropical fruit, with earthiness, and smokiness, that demonstrate the importance that soil and terroir have on wine in Loire.


Most of the wineries in Loire are family owned and operated, some have been farming their vineyards since before the French Revolution in the late 1700s, growing their produce for either the nobility or the church. Pre-Revolution one of the most humble jobs in France was that of a winemaker. After the revolution, these became prized positions. Individual winemakers may not have held historical notoriety in the region, however the wines certainly have for centuries.


The first mention of Loire wines from Touraine came in 582. But, most notably, the wine earned recognition early on in 1154 when King Henry II, Duke of Anjou and King of England served Loire wines to his Royal English court.


Shortly after the Revolution, the vine disease phylloxera hit the region, wiping out most of the historic vines. The required replanting allowed for changes in vineyards, choosing varieties that were better suited for the soils and terroir of the region, while also utilizing cleaner, greener farming methods.


Local bistro menus are filled with seafood, pork and beef, salads, fruit like sweet cherries, locally grown grains and mounds of tangy cheese. If you prefer to sip your wine on its own, no problem. The present acidity in the wines keeps them light and fresh, and the ripeness of the fruit keeps them well balanced, making these perfect wines to enjoy on their own.


Top 10 Wines from Loire Valley


1. 2007 Haut Poitou Loire Valley Red
A light-bodied blend of gamay, pinot noir and cabernet franc, it's soft, smooth, and
juicy. Perfect with kitchen picnics of cold ham and salad or cheese and chutney sandwiches.


2. 2007 Domaine Bailly Quincy 
Dry yet fruity with a warm finish. Try with goat's cheese and red onion tartlets.


3. 2006 Domaine André Dezat Sancerre Rouge
Ripe and juicy with fine, silky tannins, it can be served chilled, a great match for langoustine with garlic mayonnaise and green salad.


4. 2007 Coteaux du Layon Carte d'Or, Baumard
With honeyed sweetness and hints of fig, this excellent example has fine fresh acidity and is perfect with  soft blue cheeses.


5 2007 Fief Guerin Muscadet Cotes de Grandlieu sur Lie
Surprisingly full-flavoured and with a satisfyingly long finish, it demands to be drunk well-chilled with fresh salads or fruits.


6. Langlois Crémant de Loire 
Simple wine, but it's delightfully fresh, flowery, creamy and refreshing.


7. 2007 Reserve des Vignerons Saumur Rouge
Fresh berry fruit and a smoky edge. Serve at room temperature with roast chicken or lightly chilled with pâté and French bread.


8. 2007 Domaine des Liards, Montlouis-sur-Loire
Clean, fresh, apple-crisp, yet lush, un-oaked chenin blanc. Enjoy with a plate of oysters, crab legs or grilled trout.


9. 2007 Waitrose Sancerre 'La Franchotte' Joseph Mellot
Citrusy with hints of nettles on the finish. Enjoyed it with cod, halibut and mushroom sauce.


10. 2006 Damien Delechenau, Touraine-Amboise, Bécarre
A pure, fresh wine with raspberry flavors. Try it alongside ham, turkey, vegetables and soups.


Loire Valley grape varieties



Cabernet Franc

This is the long established signature grape for the red wines of Saumur and Touraine in the Loire Valley.The wines it produces  are lighter than that of Bordeaux wines. This is due in part to the Loire Valley's cooler climate. These wines have gained a reputation for refreshing, youthful wines that should be drunk early.



The Gamay grape is the mainstay of rosé wines of the Loire Valley produced in Anjou and Saumur. It is sometimes used in the blending of red wines. There are some wines in the region made entirely from this grape such as ‘Tourraine Gamay’.


Cabernet Sauvignon

Although a popular choice throughout the world of vintners this grape variety is not widely used in the Loire Valley. It is added to a number of reds to give them some 'body', plus it is used to produce some rosés.


Pinot Noir

This grape which gives us the reds of Burgundy also does well here in the Loire Valley in the light reds of Cheverny and Sancerre.


Chenin Blanc

Wines with this grape are the most synonymous with the Loire Valley. With properties  found in anything from the very dry to the sweetest of wines plus it is great for making sparkling wines.
Found in Vouvray, Anjou, Chinon, Montlouis-sur-Loire, Saumur and Savennieres.


Sauvignon Blanc

These grapes are responsible for the popular and world famous Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume wines.



Grown around the extreme western part of the Loire Valley, as it proved to be the best variety to cope with winter frosts the area is susceptible to.



Used mainly as a blending grape adding richness to sparkling wines and they are sometimes used in Saumur and Anjou whites in a small percentage of the finished blend.




Wine and Men’s Fitness

Top Five reasons men should drink wine

1. It’s good for your sex life
An Italian study showed that women who drank more than two glasses on a daily basis had a higher sex drive than women who did not drink wine, while another study showed that men who drank wine had higher levels of testosterone than men who did not drink wine, which is linked to having a high sex drive.
~ In sum, red wine makes people horny.
2. It might prevent you from becoming very obese
We can't be certain about this one, however a study of 19,220 women and men in the US found that those who drank red wine were less likely to be obese. Think about the last time you saw a fat Frenchman.


3. It can lower your risk of diabetes
Red wine and chocolate (great combination) contain plant compounds called flavonoids – compounds that do all sorts of good things for you. Researchers found that one of those good things was that they lowered insulin resistance. And that’s excellent, because high insulin resistance is linked to type 2 diabetes.


4. It prevents memory loss
Many Scientists have said the antioxidant resveratrol, which is found in the skin of red grapes, helps age-related memory decline. They found that rats given the antioxidant had better blood flow, memory and brain growth.
5. It could help prevent depression
Don't have to be a genius to know that wine makes us happier.
A study of 5,505 participants showed that "moderate alcohol intake" was strongly associated with a lower risk of depression.

Read more >


Red Wine: Rich in Health Benefits

Doctors from around the world have linked significant health benefits to drinking red wine.
Red Wine consumed in moderation, contains substances that benefit the heart, the nervous system, and it may even offer some cancer protection.
Red wine is good for a man's health in a number of ways, it contains antioxidants, that protect your cells against damage caused by free radicals, or unstable molecules.
The benefits from red wine are the same for men and women, but men can drink more because of their larger body mass — for a man one or two 4-ounce glasses of wine per day — women should consume only one glass per day. Flavonoids are antioxidant compounds found in plants. In red wine, they are found in the skin of the grape that produces the dark red color of the wine.
Resveratrol is a compound produced by plants to help them ward off fungal infections and many other diseases. It belongs to the class of antioxidants known as polyphenols.
Reduction in heart disease. Flavonoids in red wine can decrease the amount of "bad" cholesterol in your bloodstream and also can increase "good" cholesterol. Flavonoids and resveratrol also prevent platelets from sticking together, this process can prevent heart attacks or stroke.
Protection against cancer. Resveratrol has been shown to reduce tumor incidence and inhibit growth of cancer cells in the laboratory. Studies have begun to directly link red wine consumption to reduction of cancer risk in humans. For example, research has shown that a glass of red wine a day can cut a man's risk of prostate cancer in half, particularly when it comes to the most aggressive types of prostate cancer. Drinking larger amounts can have the exact opposite effect, so drink in moderation.
Protection against neurological disorders. Researchers have found that resveratrol appear to help block the formation of amyloid plaques thought to damage brain cells and contribute to Alzheimer's disease. Resveratrol can actually aid in the formation of new nerve cells, which could help prevent disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Other health benefits. Studies continue to find ways in which the antioxidant effects of red wine benefit the body. For example, studies have found that red wine cuts down the inflammation and tissue damage caused by periodontal, disease. So drinking red wine might actually help your dental health.
Cabernet Sauvignon contains the most antioxidants, followed by Petite Sirah and Pinot Noir. Merlots and Red Zinfandels have less antioxidants than other red wines.

Reds, Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants keep free radicals from destroying the body's cells and contributing to destructive processes inside the body. Flavonoids and resveratrol are the main types of antioxidants found in red wine:


The 4 Healthiest Wines in Existence

What makes red wine red? Those warm hues come from the Grape skins that remain in the tank as the wine ferments are responsible for the red color of wine. These skins provide resveratrol, an antioxidant that reduces heart inflammation. Keep in mind that some reds have more antioxidants than others.

Anthocyanins are responsible for the red color; darker red wines contain higher amounts. Choose a Cabernet Sauvignon, the darkest of all red wines and pair it with a Roast or Italian pasta with meat balls.
Tannic wines "have high levels of antioxidants overall, you can recognize tannins by the astringent sensation that makes your mouth dry and sticky. Select a petite sirah for rich antioxidant qualities and pair this wine with a Barbecued Chicken.
Grapes produce more antioxidants when exposed to UV light. Washington State wines are a good example of wines grown in vineyards with long hot summer days and extended growing seasons. In the summer the farther from the equator, the more daylight hours you have. Try a Washington State Syrah, from Columbia Valley, A dark, wine with abundant blueberries, blackberries, a bit of earthiness, and a touch of game and chocolate. Serve with a roasted pheasant or casual night of pizza.
Mountain wines grow in harsh conditions so they produce fewer grapes. They need more protection for each grape to ensure their survival, which translates to thicker skins. Hence more antioxidants. More antioxidants make the grapes very tannic and less appetizing for predators, increasing their chance of survival.
These wines tend to have a more mineral taste, as opposed to the big, bold wines from vineyards on flat terrains. These earthy, subtle wines are very successful when paired with pork.


Read more: Every day health


Canned Wine, Really?


Drinking wine out of a can, are you serious...


What if you could simply open an individual can of wine just like opening your favorite can of soda or beer? Can Wine has arrived and it is becoming more popular each day.


According to Nielsen Canned wine sales have grown in recent years, with sales up 75 percent in 2015. While it's still a tiny fraction of the $15 billion U.S. wine market, canned wines are on the definitely on the upswing.


While it doesn't necessarily sound as glamorous as bottled wine, canned wine has several advantages, aluminum is a more sustainable and recyclable form of packaging than glass bottles and also a very cost-effective method of packaging wine.
Source: Can Science News

About a third of wine drinking millennials expect "quality" from wine in a can.
Millennials are changing the wine industry, they don't conform to the established rules. They warmed to wine in boxes, in kegs and now even wine oenophiles are coming over to this new phenomenon, "Wines in a Can".

Coppola Winery in Napa Valley was one of the first to try canned-wine with its 2004 release of Sofia, a sparkling blanc de blancs in a rose-colored can. They realized they could make a aluminum package very cool and extremely elegant. Canned wines are among several new, often eco-friendly packaging options that winemakers have been experimenting with since 2004. Gallup polling shows there’s been a generational shift away from beer in favor of wine. Part of this, is that Americans today are more health conscious.
During the 2014 Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Competition 17 medals were awarded to wines packaged in new slim cans.

Read more about canned wines.....

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