The Everyday Guide to Wines of France

Course No. 9176
Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, Master of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits
Institute of Masters of Wine
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4.7 out of 5
23 Reviews
86% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 9176
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Course Overview

France's outstanding reputation for fine wines—whether red, white, or sparkling—doesn't come out of thin air. Rather, it stems from hundreds of years of tradition that have created the gold standard by which all other wines around the world are measured.

The colors, aromas, and tastes of French wines span the spectrum and in many ways have gone on to shape and influence everything we appreciate about fine wine. It is in France where some of the world’s most common grape varieties—such as Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon—were first grown and harvested. Whether you’re a connoisseur of great wine or simply looking for the best bottle to give as a gift or to pair with dinner, to learn about the wines of France is to understand the origins of wine culture and to expose yourself to a range of tastes and traditions unmatched anywhere else in the world.

Grab a glass and join acclaimed Master of Wine Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan on a fascinating six-lecture tour of the best wines that France has to offer with The Everyday Guide to Wines of France. What makes French wines stand out from their international counterparts? How does the varied landscape of France shape and influence what’s in your wine glass? Why do French wines command such respect from culinary experts and casual drinkers? These intriguing questions and more are answered in a journey packed with interactive wine tastings, food and wine pairing demonstrations, practical tips and suggestions for shopping and gift giving, and more.

Visit French Wine Regions—Right from Home

The Everyday Guide to Wines of France takes you all across the country on a vibrant search for the best of the best when it comes to French wines. From the comfort of your own home and with the help of green screen technology that transports Ms. Simonetti-Bryan around the country, you’ll travel to some of France’s most important wine regions and investigate their unique wine-making traditions.

  • The Loire Valley: Called the “Garden of France,” this valley has a climate considered the most pleasant in northern France, which makes it a popular destination for vacationers and wine enthusiasts.
  • Burgundy: The region of Burgundy is home to only two major grape varieties—Chardonnay (for white grapes) and Pinot Noir (for red grapes). Burgundy is also known for making some of the best white wines in the world.
  • Bordeaux: Bordeaux is home to some of the boldest and richest wines in France. Rooted in formal traditions and history, the wines from this region last for many decades and generally command the highest prices at wine auctions.

Sample the Best Wines France Has to Offer

Throughout each lecture, you'll have the opportunity to taste alongside Ms. Simonetti-Bryan as she samples great French wines and draws your attention to curious subtleties and differences your palate may not have noticed before. While French wines can be expensive, many of the wines featured in this course are affordable and can easily be found in your nearest wine shop or supermarket.

The Everyday Guide to Wines of France is an engaging chance to unravel the mysteries of some of the world's greatest wines in the company of a master educator who has trained hundreds of professionals in the wine industry and has been featured on a variety of popular media programs. Most of all, it's an amazing wine-tasting journey that will leave you with a greater appreciation for French wine—in all of its captivating varieties.

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6 lectures
 |  Average 35 minutes each
  • 1
    French Wines—Quality and Tradition
    Discover everything you need to know to understand—and savor—a wine that is exceedingly French and enjoyed on both celebratory and everyday occasions: Champagne. You’ll learn how to open a bottle of Champagne like an expert, how it compares to Prosecco and other sparkling wines from around the world, how the landscape of the Champagne region affects the character of the wine itself, which foods pair best with sweet and dry Champagnes, and more. x
  • 2
    Alsace and Loire—Delicate, Racy, and Luscious
    Muscadet. Sancerre. Chinon. Alsace Riesling. Sample these and other elegant reds and whites from the Loire and Alsace regions of France. As you taste your way through these treasures, you’ll explore what experts mean when they say wine is “past its peak,” why acidic wine pairs so well with seafood dishes, why a German wine is grown in France, and why a particular form of fungus on grapes can actually be a great thing. x
  • 3
    Burgundy—Wines of Sophistication and Elegance
    Ms. Simonetti-Bryan takes you on a virtual tour of the tastes and sights of her most favorite wine region: Burgundy. What makes this landscape so important is that it’s the benchmark for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir around the world. You’ll get a chance to find out for yourself why it’s the gold standard through interactive tastings and comparisons of a range of wines, including a Bourgogne Blanc, a Chablis, a Meursault, and a Beaujolais. x
  • 4
    Bordeaux—Bold and Rich Wines
    Become more familiar with wines from France’s most iconic wine region: Bordeaux. As you taste your way through a variety of unique wines, you’ll also see how winemaking in France compares with winemaking in California (where technological innovations are looked on more favorably) and take a peek at how a wine ages over time. You’ll finish the lecture with a luxurious sampling of a Sauterne, one of the world’s best-known dessert wines. x
  • 5
    Rhône Valley—Aromatic Whites and Spicy Reds
    Explore the great wines of the northern and southern Rhône Valley, which display a side that’s more flavorful, spicy, and savory. As you use the five S’s of tasting wine to make your way through a red and a white Côtes du Rhone, a Condrieu, a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and more, you’ll train yourself to easily pick out the ways in which the landscape of this region shapes how its wines look, smell, and taste. x
  • 6
    Southern France—Rising Stars and Secret Gems
    Go to the southern coast of France (and other outlying regions) for a look at the rest of the wines this country has to offer: a Vin de Pays d’Oc Chardonnay, a Chablis, a Provence Rosé, a Corbières, a Cahors, and a Madiran. You’ll also learn the pros and cons of screw-capped wine, see how rosés are crafted, and have fun with a final quiz (modeled on a French game) that tests your newfound knowledge of French wines. x

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Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 6 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the reference guide
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 6 lectures on 1 DVD
  • Reference guide & wine list
  • Downloadable PDF of the reference guide
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

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Course Guidebook Details:
  • Reference guide & wine list

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Your professor

Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan

About Your Professor

Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, Master of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits
Institute of Masters of Wine
Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan is among a small number of people to have received the highest credentials in the wine and spirits industry. She is one of only a few hundred people in the world to have achieved the Master of Wine (M.W.) title from The Institute of Masters of Wine in London, England-the highest and most difficult title to achieve in the industry. She also has a Professional Certificate in Spirits from the Wine &...
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The Everyday Guide to Wines of France is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 23.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Purpose Clearly Stated Such an enjoyable presentation of French wines! We will watch it again and again, rewinding to clarify certain bits. Have already tried 3 of the wines suggested and are quite pleased. The speaker is expert in presenting rich, interesting details without being overwhelming.
Date published: 2020-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you like drinking good wine If you like drinking good wine this course is for you. It was very informative and entertaining. I will have more confidence in the wine shops now when looking for French wines which I happen to love.
Date published: 2020-04-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wines of France Guide to French wines is well done. Good simple education
Date published: 2020-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mission Accomplished Ms. Simonetti-Bryan sets a high bar because she has chosen to tackle the very corner of the world wine market that is most prized to many who are informed of such things and most recognized even to those who are not. I note that some reviews suggest that Ms. Simonetti-Bryan's general wine course may be the best starting point, and I chose to start with wines of France, so I cannot make a judgment on this point. However, I find the strong point of this course is that I was not patronized by the presentation and was actually forced to pay attention to some of her finer tasting points. Wine jargon can be annoying and we did get our share here (I may never understand "minerality"). Moreover, it is unlikely, in my view, that the typical Great Courses consumer will prepare for each lecture by making the recommended purchases. Still, I believe that some of the timeworn mystique of the iconic wines of France has been debunked. The bottom line is that my modest knowledge of the wines of France has been materially enhanced. This is a worthwhile purchase.
Date published: 2019-12-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Some okay information, but embarrassing. Some okay information and good selection of wines from the regions, but for a Wine Master (and part of her name is Italian!!) Jennifer's pronunciation is horrifying! "Grigio" in Pinot Grigio, which is used in almost every tasting is "GREE joe", not "GREE GEEE OHHH". Sangiovese, Moscato d'Asti, and others were said incorrectly. Same with the mispronunciation of wine areas and towns such as Adige, Liguria and Assisi. Even the proverbs and toasts were like listening to nails on a chalkboard. If she is presenting Italian wines, regions and proverbs please say them correctly so that those taking the course will say them correctly!!! Also, some of her pairings were strange. A northeastern region wine paired with a pasta dish from Rome? Spaghetti Bolognese?? . . . There is no such thing in Italy. She seemed to have textbook and surface knowledge of Italy, but did not bring the real essence of Italy. I would update this course and have an Italian as the instructor. (also, in posting this review some of the Italian wine names I had to leave out as Great Courses marked them as profane - even the lecturer's name of Simon___ was dubbed profane!)
Date published: 2018-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well done! These lectures are so packed full of information we'll be watching them several more times, I'm sure. In fact, the instructor is delivering so much information, we were very glad we had already watch the more general (and longer) course, The Everyday Guide to Wine. It gave us a solid foundation for watching these more specific lessons. In my review of the more general Everyday Guide to Wine course I complained that Great Courses had done a disservice to this instructor by their clumsy use of the teleprompter, but in the Everyday Guide to Wines of France that problem has been resolved. The instructor has an excellent delivery. We really enjoyed the brisk pace of the lectures and the variety of visuals (even the ones that were a little bit hokey), and we recommend it highly. Our next stop: The Wines of California.
Date published: 2018-04-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent video! The course is very organized and the wine connoisseur introduces the most important French wines in a simple way. As a beginner wine enthusiast, I understood the lectures very well. Great explanation among wine varieties.
Date published: 2018-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent and professional course Jennifer does an excellent job of explaining French wines. She describes how they are made, how they should taste and which region in France they are from. I have taken 3 of her courses and look forward to taking any that she has in the future. With Jennifer's courses I have increased my knowledge of wine and therefore my enjoyment.
Date published: 2017-11-30
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