The Truth About Why French Wine Is ‘Always Better’

Is French wine really 'always better,' or are French people just better at picking a bottle than us?

The Truth About Why French Wine Is ‘Always Better’

Swimsuited revellers enjoy a glass of wine outside the Carlton Hotel, Cannes, in 1958. Photo Credit: Slim Aarons/Getty Images

While Australians are raised on a steady diet of cruisers and ill-gotten beer, the French are, the stereotype goes, fed a diet of watered down wine.

As such, when we grow up, we are a lot less confident (broadly speaking) when it comes to picking wine. 

Of course, wine knowledge, and familiarity is on the rise in Australia. But we’re a couple of hundred years behind the French, so it’s fair enough that we have some catching up to do. 

Until that day comes, however, videos like the following will continue to hit close to home (even if they aren’t directed at us but rather at the ‘pub-cultured’ Brits). 

Enter: a recent clip by bilingual comedian Tatty Macleod (@tatty_macleod). The clip brilliantly skewers the difference between how English people look at wine and how French people look at wine. Though it is targeted at Brits, many of the points ring true for Australians too. 

Watch Tatty tear Britons’ wine picking skills to shreds in the video below…

In particular, the points about the French trying to match their wine to their food (“is this too citrusy for salmon tartar”?) and thinking about the reputation of a certain time period (“was 2007 a good year?”), ring loud and clear. 

“I’d prefer a sancerre, but if they don’t have it, this will do.”

Tatty then makes a number of cliche comments English people are known to make when looking at wine in a bottle shop.

“Oh look, a special.”

“That one’s on special offer.”

“That ones also reduced.”

Just in case you hadn’t already got the picture, Tatty adds: “That one’s cheap.”

“That one’s really cheap.”

“This one is more expensive than that one, but technically this one was more expensive to begin with.” 


She finishes the skit with: “Oh my god, 11%!”

“Oh, they do wine in a box. Should we just get a box of wine?”

The only point we would say doesn’t ring true for Australia is the one where Tatty emphasises French people looking for an organic wine (“they don’t have an organic one?”), with the implication being they value organic wine and we don’t. 

We can’t speak for whether this is the case in England, but in Australia, particularly in recent years, consumers have started cottoning onto the organic wine trend and enjoying it, statistics reveal

The skit also, we reckon, makes an important point regarding French wine’s impeccable global reputation. Though France really does make some world-beating vinos, Australia (and other countries) are catching up (and have been for a while). 

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We’d argue, the real reason many people think French wine is ‘always better,’ is because when they have been in France they have paid more attention to what they are picking, or been with people who have paid more attention to what they are picking. 

Not to mention the placebo effect (and the fact that good wine, or reasonable-quality wine, can be a little bit cheaper in France than it is in Australia, due to its plentiful supply).

Conversely, in Australia, many people have experienced bad wine choices and then assumed all Australian wine is bad.

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But the truth is, if you are smart about your choice, after the leaps and bounds Australian wine has made, whether you are in Paris or Parramatta, you can choose a good wine in 2021. 

Speaking of which: these are the best Australian wines to buy right now, according to DMARGE’s expert wine picker.