Riches and Romance From Frances Wine Harvest
SEPTEMBER is harvest time. And with bunches of grapes swinging(摇摆) in the wind, the vineyards of southern France are getting ready to celebrate it.
The yearly wine festival is held in honour of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. Its a fun time with parties, music, dancing, big meals and, of course, lots of wine.
French wine-making began more than 2,500 years ago. The worlds oldest type of vine grows in France and always produces a good quality wine. Today France produces one-fifth of the worlds wine, and some of the most famous varieties.
The top wine-producing areas are Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Loire Valley. Champagne, a drink used in celebrations, is named after the place where sparkling (有气泡的)wine was first produced in 1700.
Wine is made from the juice of freshly picked grapes. It is the sugars that turn into alcohol.
Traditionally, people used to take off their shoes and crush the grapes with their bare feet to bring out the juice. Nowadays, this practice is usually carried out by machines.
Each wine producing region has its own character, based on its type of grapes and soil.
The taste of wine changes with time. Until 1850, all French champagne was sweet. Now, both wine and champagne taste slightly bitter.
The drink has always been linked with riches, romance and nobleness. Yet the French think of it in more ordinary terms.