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When you buy wine, it will benefit you to know the classification of wines in the country where it is produced. Usually, it is not too much information to digest and can really help in your wine selection process and choosing direct wines from that region. For example, when you buy French wine Online, it is important to know that the letters AOC or AC on a French wine label stand for Appellation d'Origine Controlee or "controlled place of origin." This means that wines made in these controlled regions are subject to strict rules regarding the type of grapes that can be planted, production levels and wine-making techniques. The hope is that the consumer can rest assured that he or she is receiving a quality wine. While this system doesn't guarantee that every AOC wine is excellent, it helps protect against fraud and keep quality high. The downside is that it is restrictive. Wine makers who want to experiment can choose to bottle wines under the vin de pays category, which is basically a step below those tagged AOC or AC. There are many good wines from France in this category, so don't discount them on the basis of pedigree. Remember that many good-value bottles between just $5 and $8 can taste better than wines carrying an AOC or AC label.