- Merlot vs Cabernet Sauvignon: Battle of the Reds - July 8, 2022
- The Best Stackable Wine Racks – Top Picks - July 8, 2022
- Gewurtztraminer vs Riesling Compared: Which is the Best? - July 6, 2022
When you think of Bordeaux, you probably think of extravagant chateaux expansive landscapes, and names you can’t pronounce. In part, you’d be right, but there’s so much more to it than that.
Bordeaux is one of the oldest wines in the world, featuring the best, most expensive wines you can buy. It’s unique and complex, but wonderful and accessible. You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy a great Bordeaux, but you certainly can if you want to.
Bordeaux is a blend of several different kinds of grapes originating from the Bordeaux region of France. Much of the wine-making technique still used today came from Bordeaux. Wines still take clues from the Bordeaux practices, right down to what’s displayed on the label.
Let’s look beyond the lavish images we find associated with Bordeaux today and go back to its roots to find out exactly where it came from, what it’s about, and how we can still find enjoyment from it today.
Bordeaux is named for the region of France from which it hails. More than 90% of all Bordeaux is made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but the remainder is made with other varietals.
Bordeaux wines are a blend of grapes. It is not a single varietal, although it is one of the most common wines in the world. The red Bordeaux is the most popular and includes Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot most commonly.
It can also contain Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. On some rare occasions, it also contains a small amount of Carmenere.
There are also white Bordeaux wines containing Muscadelle, Semillon, and Sauvignon Blanc. These wines are typically from American rootstock that took root in Bordeaux vineyards.
The ancient Romans are the first people on record to plant and cultivate vineyards for the production of Bordeaux wine. They began this cultivation and wine production in 60 BC. They called the Bordeaux region Burdigala.
The ruins still the most complete today are what remains of the Palais Gallien amphitheater. Other ruins, though not as complete, can be found all over the region today.
Early Bordeaux History
Bordeaux started earning a name for itself as early as the first century AD. Roman soldiers, as well as citizens, would distribute the wines to people in Britain and Gaul. Pline the Elder even mentions Bordeaux plantings in his writings.
Amphorae fragments have been found as far away as Pompeii that mentions Bordeaux wine. St. Emilion estates contain ancient Roman ruins scattered throughout their vineyards and Chateau Ausone in St. Emilion earned its name from Ausonius, the Roman poet rumored to have lived in a villa in the Bordeaux region.
The landscape of Bordeaux was perfect for growing these grapes. It had the right soil and easy access to the Garonne river. This combination allowed for healthy cultivation and production, as well as convenient distribution to Roman territories.
While it’s speculation, we can assume that Bordeaux wines were started on vines that came from Spain. The Rioja, in particular, is a logical choice. Not only was the soil and climate perfect, but the nearby Gironde River made transportation to the Atlantic Ocean easy.
Bordeaux and England: The Beginning
The Burdigala region went on unassumingly creating Bordeaux wines for quite some time, and then in 1152, Bordeaux wine was served at the wedding of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the heir to the Duchy of Aquitaine, and Henry Plantagenet, the future king of England.
Bordeaux grew in popularity and by the late fourteenth century, Bordeaux was a large city. It was so big, that it was the second-largest city under British Monarchy control after London. By 1302, Bordeaux was being exported to England from St. Emilion at the request of King Edward I.
In fact, the first Bordeaux wine to be exported was St. Emilion. At the time, Medoc, the wine region just north of Bordeaux, didn’t have a wine trade yet, but St. Emilion wines were already known for having great quality.
As the years progressed, and you will soon see, England and royalty have a large part in Bordeaux history. They did a lot to advance the wine trade and the King of France even exempted winemakers from paying taxes.
Bordeaux and England: The Marriage
A royal marriage between King Henry and Eleanor ensured that the Aquitaine lands, which included the Bordeaux region, was an English property for more than 300 years, until the end of the Hundred Years’ War in 1453.
By now, the English had discovered that they loved Bordeaux. The son of Henry II and Eleanor, Richard the Lionheart, made sure he drank a glass (or more) of Bordeaux every day. And, of course, if Bordeaux is good enough for the king, it’s good enough for everyone.
Bordeaux continued its expansion, gaining more importance as it went. Two times every year, hundreds of British ships would sail to Bordeaux loaded with goods to exchange them for wine.
The Dutch purchased almost as much Bordeaux as the English did. However, they didn’t care so much about good Bordeaux as they did about the value wines from the same region. They needed their wines fast, so they wouldn’t spoil.
The Dutch first began burning sulfur in barrels of wine, which helped increase their ability to age. But it wasn’t enough. So the Dutch decided to build roads for easier transportation throughout the region.
What happened next would change the landscape of Bordeaux, literally, forever. While many of the vineyards were planted and growing, the 1600s still saw a lot of unusable marshes and swampland.
Dutch engineers thought, since the land wasn’t being used, they could drain the swamps and marches to build roads. Now Bordeaux could be moved quickly from place to place. It also created more real estate for planting grapes where the swampland wasn’t being used as a road.
We have Jan Adriaasz Leeghwater to thank for our Bordeaux today. Many of the famous Bordeaux vineyards grow today where it was once nothing more than a marsh or swamp.
Today, we still use the same methods for draining as Leeghwater did. He installed drainage dikes to remove the water and left them in place so the problem wouldn’t recur. You can still see some of his original drainage solutions throughout the Medoc region today.
Commercial Demand for Bordeaux
It all started with Bordeaux on the label. Nothing differentiated one Bordeaux from another. However, in the late 1600s, brands began to develop from different regions, and consumers wanted to choose which Bordeaux they preferred.
Lafite, Latour, Margaux, and Haut Brion were among the first to gain recognition. Buyers began looking for these specific wines and recognize and appreciate the differences. It wasn’t long before the second growths gained a following.
Commercial expansion necessitated the development of negociants and courtiers. It was expensive for the chateaux to tend the vineyard, make the wine, put it in a barrel, age it, bottle it, and find a buyer.
Despite the fact that these Chateaux owners were wealthy, and many of them were royals, they didn’t want to spend the money. Instead, they did everything up to putting it in a barrel. From there, the negociant took over the bottling, sales, and distribution.
Negociants and Bordeaux
In the early 1700s, they founded negociant firms. It was considered unseemly for wealthy royals to engage in the commercial aspect of selling their wines, so it was better to hire someone to do it for them. The need for negociants grew rapidly.
Powerful negociants were soon acting as the unofficial bank for these chateaux owners, providing funding for the growth and production of Bordeaux. And because of the negociant middlemen, Bordeaux was the only wine region where there was never any direct interaction between the customer and the chateaux owner.
In 1725, they began drawing up appellation boundaries and putting the wine production area on the bottle. The cumulative Bordeaux areas were called Vignoble de Bordeaux. Consumers could now purchase wines they liked and could tell the difference between the different areas where Bordeaux was produced.
All of this almost came to a screeching halt during the French Revolution, when estates in Bordeaux were confiscated from their wealthy, royal owners, from those with noble titles, and from the church.
The estates were broken into small pieces and sold at auction. In many other wine regions, the Napoleonic code of succession reigned. That meant that residents had to divide their property equally among their children.
As the generations passed on, the estates got smaller and smaller. What you see today are many very small, family-owned vineyards that used to be large.
However, Bordeaux seemed to find a way around this, which is why the Bordeaux wine chateaux properties are still very large. To avoid a loss of size and scope, the owners developed a shareholder system. These estate shareholders were exempt from the Napoleonic code.
The code used generally applied to agriculture, which the vineyards loosely fell under. Because of this, the Medoc region has long been a land of great wealth and privilege. It’s a refuge for those of noble birth.
The 1855 Classification of Bordeaux
The intention of this classification is to identify the best wines from the region. Modern consumers wouldn’t recognize these wines as they were produced at the time, but the classifications are still in place.
Most of the Bordeaux at the time was aged for 3-5 years. This wasn’t nearly as long as was needed to produce secondary characteristics. Even the best wines of the day were consumed quickly after bottling.
The classifications served to promote Bordeaux wines and let consumers know which were the best and guide them in how much they should pay for each. Since the original classifications, only one change has been made over the last more than 150 years.
Chateau Mouton Rothschild got promoted to First Growth status in 1973. Everything else remains the same.
In 1855, at the Exposition Universelle de Paris, Napolean III wanted to exhibit the best wines France had to offer. The Gironde Chamber of Commerce promoted famous Bordeaux wines by ordering an official classification.
The Wine Brokers Union of Bordeaux then developed the classification. They put together a group of local negociants and brokers and ranked the wines in five classes for red wines. All ranked wines were from Medoc, with the exception of the already legendary Chateau Haut-Brion.
Simple wines or merchants who couldn’t afford to get their wines to the fair were not ranked, which explains some of the wines that are left out of the classification despite them being popular among wine drinkers in other European countries.
This classification immediately skyrocketed Bordeaux to even more success because it reflected the quality of the wines in terms of their selling price and reputation, at least in the eyes of the overall market at the fair.
This marketing success was the first of its kind and the wealthiest wine buyers were now willing to pay a lot of money for what they thought were the best wines.
Not only did the classification thrust Bordeaux wines into the world’s most collectible bottle. The negociants had a knack for selling their wines well and soon were owners of their own prominent chateaux.
Pre Phylloxera Bordeaux of the 1855 classification era including vintages like 1865 and 1870 among others are some of the most sought after Bordeaux vintages today. They’re rare, expensive, and excellent.
As with most other grape varieties around the world, the Phylloxera outbreak changed Bordeaux forever. It devastated European vineyards and destroyed the crops.
Before Phylloxera, Bordeaux was under attack from other diseases like oidium, but by the 1855 classification, wine growers had already figured out that putting sulfur on the vines killed the oidium.
Then downy mildew came after the foliage. They combatted this by adding copper to the sulfur, and growers managed to stave off the downy mildew.
Bordeaux battled two diseases and won. But they didn’t win the battle against Phylloxera. Not many wines did. It killed the vineyards with a vengeance until Albert Macquin discovered that he could graft his vineyards with rootstock from America that was resistant to Phylloxera.
Some varietals responded better than others. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc are the three main grape varieties used in Bordeaux today, and that’s largely due to the fact that they survived and thrived after grafting. Others didn’t.
They replaced Carmenere, Malbec, and Petit Verdot, which shrank significantly after grafting. From this experience, vintners discovered which grapes grew best in which types of soil, and from this point on, quality continued to increase.
Phylloxera also changed the density of all vineyard plantings, too. Vineyards were often 20,000 to 25,000 vines per hectare. Today, they’re back down to 8500 to 10,000 vines per hectare.
Despite the high density, yields were always inconsistent due to rot, disease, or mildew. They sometimes produced only two hectoliters per hectare while other harvests saw 45 hectoliters per hectare.
After Phylloxera, Bordeaux had a hard time recovering well into the twentieth century. The world wars didn’t help either. It looked bleak. Owners were running out of money and consumers weren’t buying wine.
There were many poor vintages between the Phylloxera devastation and World War II. Commerce was still happening in Europe, but much of it was with the Germans, which much of Europe wanted to do as little as possible, and many negociants went to jail.
The conditions of the vineyards were poor, so when the war was over and the weather was good, the new attention to the fields turned out great vintages through the remainder of the 1940s and into the 1950s.
The yields were low but steadily increased through the 1960s. After pesticides were invented, yields skyrocketed. Many chateaux produced as much as 45 hectoliters per hectare consistently now.
The Modern Era
There have been frosts and other Bordeaux busts between then and now, but nothing quite as devastating as the Phylloxera outbreak. Today, less Bordeaux is being made because they’re using only the top grapes.
The wines are better, but there’s less for consumers. Inheritance taxes have changed, making it expensive for owners to pass chateau down to their children. Many of them are being sold to large corporations.
There’s a large amount of money now being invested in new facilities for making wine and the massive cash influx has allowed Bordeaux to invest in new cellars and vineyard management techniques.
There are few family operations anymore, but the estates have all been preserved and are as large or larger than they were in the beginning. The goal now is low yields and full phenolic ripeness rather than producing Bordeaux in bulk.
The modern winemaking and management techniques have allowed for a cleaner, fresher, richer, more concentrated, elegant wines made of more pure fruit. Bordeaux is better than ever and is the most sought after wine in the world.
Bordeaux Types and Regions
Bordeaux varies in style and it’s from a wide range of soils and terroirs. It is divided into two main regions, the Left Bank and the Right Bank, with many other subregions, further classifying the area.
The Left Bank
The Left Bank, comprised of Medoc and Graves, contains St. Julien, Saint Estephe, Margaux, and Haut Medoc. These wines are what people typically think of when they talk about Bordeaux.
These wines are Cabernet Sauvignon among some of the world’s best red wines. They’re Cabernet Sauvignon-based and made to age well. Left Bank Bordeaux wines are blends and may be mixed with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, or Petit Verdot.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary blending grape in the Left Bank, giving these wines a pepper flavor with bold tannins. The most popular combination is still Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Right Bank
The Right Bank contains Saint Emilion, Pomerol, and a few smaller satellite appellations that have similar soils and terroirs. The main grapes from this region are Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
Other wines that this region offers are Lafleur, Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Petrus. These are generally more expensive but have softer textures. However, the best vintages of Pomerol and St. Emilion age well and offer floral, chocolate, and plum textures.
Right, Bank Bordeaux is bolder than Left Bank Bordeaux because of the dominant blending grape Merlot. However, they are smooth and have subtle tannins.
Located on the Left Bank at the southern end of the Medoc area, Haut-Medoc is one of the primary producers of excellent Bordeaux. The soil has gravel deposits, which are great for growing Cabernet. The deep, clay-like soil is perfect for Merlot, which is one of the primary reasons this region turns out so many Merlot-dominant Bordeaux blends.
Wines from Haut-Medoc are lively and powerful with oaky notes, hints of blackberry, licorice, currant, and sometimes mint and spices. These wines are complex and elegant.
This Left Bank subregion has the thinnest soil in all of Medoc with the most gravel. Because gravelly soil provides good drainage, it can make some excellent wines. This subregion grows predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, which is then blended with other varietals to make Bordeaux with dominant blackcurrant flavors.
Wines from the southern part of this appellation are more powerful, but less fragrant, and have more plum aromas.
The Pauillac subregion has three of the five First Growths according to the 1855 Classification. These are Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, and Chateau Lafite Rothschild. These wines have cassis flavors, especially when aged and display truffle and tobacco characteristics.
The only First Growth that is not in the Medoc is Pessac Leognan. It produces a wide variety of Bordeaux styles and some blends similar to those in the Mecoc. They have a more earthy, smokey character.
This is the only Bordeaux wine region known for making dry white wines known the world over. It’s also fairly new in relation to the other appellations. It was created in 1987.
This is the northernmost appellation in Medoc. They have five classified growths contained in the 1855 classification. The soil is still very gravelly with some sand and a high proportion of clay.
Varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cot grow well in this subregion.
These subregion vineyards are on top of sedimentary rock. The surface soil contains pebbles but the subsoil is complex. Wines from this appellation vary a lot more in character than do wines of any other subregion.
Grapes grown here include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Carmenere, and Petit Verdot. Southern wines are smooth and feminine while northern wines are powerful and robust.
Pomerol is one of the smallest subregions with the biggest history and a lot of personalities. It’s worth a visit for a lot of learning. The geography of Pomerol means that it sees more temperature variation from daytime highs to nighttime lows than many other Bordeaux appellations.
The region also sees more rainfall and is located farther in proximity from any large bodies of water. The soil is diverse and does a great job of growing Merlot, which accounts for 80% of its production. It also grows Cabernet Franc, Malbed, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot.
All across Bordeaux, you will also find sweet white wines like Barsac and Sauternes that offer stunning quality and are known all over the world as some of the finest white wines you can buy.
Some white Bordeaux blends are made from Sauvignon blanc and Semillon and may contain a small percentage of Sauvignon Gris or Muscadelle. They are zesty and sweet and make great dessert wines.
The primary flavors of red Bordeaux are plum, violet, graphite, black currant, and cedar. They are medium- to full-bodied wines with earthy notes like pencil lead or wet gravel. They burst with fruit notes and have mouth-drying, savory, and prickly tannins. These high tannins allow the wine to age for several decades.
Fruit flavors can range based on the region from tart fruit to sweet fruit. A great vintage offers incredible value and will age for years. You can typically find affordable Bordeaux wines of every vintage and not many of them disappoint.
The good thing is you don’t need to spend a fortune to try great Bordeaux. The fancy estates do offer super expensive wines you may not be able to afford, but there are also great value vintages if you look in the right spot.
Here are my top picks, costing you less than $50 a bottle.
Vignobles Despagne-Rapin Les Piliers de Maison Blanche
The 2014 vintage of this wine comes from Montagne-Saint-Emilion in France. It features bright berry flavors with good acidity. It’s a perfect food wine, although you can always sip it alone. You can find this one online for less than $20.
Chateau La Grolet, Cotes de Bourg
Once again, this is an extremely food-friendly 2016 Bordeaux with plenty of herbaceous minerality. You won’t be disappointed by this super affordable option for less than $15.
Clos Puy Arnaud, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon
This 2012 vintage has an elegant nose with fine fruits, mineral style, and hints of wild berries. The dark color is unique. It has a purple core with a ruby rim. You may also find a gentle oak flavor, grainy tannins, and persistent purity.
It ages well and is a more expensive option on my list, but still less than $50. It’s drinkable today but will sit in your pantry for years to come if you plan to enjoy it later.
Chateau Cantemerle, Haut-Medoc
This 2004 is the oldest vintage on the list. Tart acids meet notes of sour cherries, sweet cranberries, wet rocks, and flowers. It’s zesty and vibrant with a light style that can be enjoyed now or over the next ten years.
Chateau Peybonhomme Les Tours, Cotes de Bordeaux Blaye
This Bordeaux blend contains Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. These grapes are grown organically and offer black fruit aromas with excellent mineral structure. The label is simple and not nearly as beautiful as some other vintages, but what’s inside the bottle really shines.
Bordeaux looks elegant on any dinner table with its ornate label and vintage green bottle. Always serve Bordeaux around 65 degrees, or slightly below room temperature. They should be decanted for at least thirty minutes before enjoying.
If you’re looking to pair Bordeaux with food, look for foods that have enough fat to offset the tannins in the wine. Here are some ideas:
- Meat – roast pork, beef brisket, black pepper steak, filet mignon, buffalo burgers, pot roast, chicken liver, venison, goose, duck, dark meat turkey
- Cheese – basque, manchego, ossau, swiss, white cheddar, Comte, pepper jack, provolone
- Herb/spice – white pepper, black pepper, rosemary, oregano, cumin, mustard seed, anise, coriander seed
- Vegetable – lentils, roast potatoes, onion, mushrooms, green onion, chestnut, green bean casserole
A bold Bordeaux compliments steak and duck fat fries nicely. While Bordeaux can have grippy tannins, the fat in the dish will smooth it out and make it taste fruity and sweet against a meaty backdrop.
Sirloin Steak and Onions
Pan-seared, thinly sliced sirloin steak and onions with cilantro and parmesan crackers make a great appetizer with which you can sip your Bordeaux. Turn it into a full-blown meal just as easily with larger steaks and a side of potatoes.
Braised Lamb Shoulder
Lamb is a rich meat that’s ideal for Bordeaux pairings. Seasoning it with fennel brings out the earthiness of the wine and drizzling with orange helps smooth out the spicy notes with just a bit of sweet.
Bacon Maple Cheddar Burger
Burgers can be pretty epic. They’re about as American as they come, but a nice juicy burger topped with sugary maple bacon and sharp cheddar cheese will accent and red Bordeaux blend you choose.
Filet is juicy and delicious. Marinade it in Bordeaux, add some Chipotle sauce, and smother it with mango salsa. Pair it with your favorite Bordeaux blend for a sweet and spicy meal.
If you’re not a fan of chipotle, braise your filet in a whiskey sauce for a hint of oaky flavor and then top with mushrooms to accent the earth tones in the Bordeaux.
If you don’t like red meat with your red wine, chicken is a great option. Savory chicken braised with caramel and pan-seared with ginger, cloves, and soy sauce makes a great accessory to your glass of Bordeaux.
If you love barbeque, try it with Bordeaux! Choose a Bordeaux with Merlot as the main grape to go with all of your barbeque dishes. Pork is a great alternative to heavy red meats and works great as an appetizer or a lunch.
Barbeque Chicken Pizza
A Right Bank Bordeaux has a lighter body than a Left Bank Bordeaux, meaning it will go great with something as light in flavor a barbeque chicken pizza. Red onions and cilantro make the perfect pairing.
Asian dishes, seasonings, and sauces do a really great job of bringing out the flavor of a Right Bank Bordeaux. Try pork chops in apple cider vinegar with garlic and a sweet chili sauce.
Flank steaks are lean and go well with lean Bordeaux that is Merlot dominant. Grill your flank steak in red wine vinegar for a savory combination.
You can mix so many different seasonings in with a shepherd’s pie to make it taste exactly how you like it, which means you can adjust your recipe to complement your favorite Bordeaux, no matter what it is.
There are always fun facts about our favorite wines that we didn’t know. It doesn’t change how much we love them, but it’s fun to show off our knowledge and it enhances our experience if we can have a little fun.
Bordeaux wine-making was first recorded in the fourth century.
Latin poet, Ausonius, mentioned Bordeaux in his poetry for the first time. He writes about growing vines himself and he tells us that he appreciates a sip or two often.
The English call Bordeaux Claret.
In the Middle Ages, sweet food was expensive and only the very wealthy could afford to enjoy them. The wine was vinified as a sweet drink so that everyone could have access to the extra sweet flavor.
Fermentation only lasted one or two days, so the resulting liquid wasn’t very dark. Grape juice is clear, so extended skin contact is what makes the color darker. Because these wines didn’t ferment or have contact with the skin for very long, they were very pale.
These wines were called vinum clarum or vin clear when they were exported to England because they were virtually clear. The English started calling them Claret wines and the name stuck, even as they became darker in color.
It’s different than the Clairet you can get in France today. The French Bordeaux Clairet that’s available in France is a fuller body, a darker rose that’s made out of Merlot.
We can thank the Dutch for modern Bordeaux.
Today’s Bordeaux is still grown in what used to be swamps and marshlands. The Dutch drained these swamps to build roads and make wine transportation easier. It enhanced the wine trade but also cleared more land for the planting of vineyards.
Without Dutch intervention, the most famous chateaux wouldn’t exist. That includes Margaux, Latour, and Lafite.
The 1885 classification was written on the back of an envelope.
The Bordeaux brokers drafted the 1885 classification on the back of an envelope. They were quick notes in response to Napolean’s request to judge the wines at the 1855 Exposition Universelle in Paris.
After judging 58 reds and 21 whites, people assumed the classification would be forgotten quickly, given its quick and dirty nature, but it’s still in place two centuries later.
The grandiose chateaux we see today are a recent invention.
None of the fabulous mansions in Bordeaux today are historical buildings. The association between chateaux and wine started in the eighteenth century when rich producers of Bordeaux wanted to show off their wealth.
It was a marketing opportunity to indulge in luxury and decadence to demonstrate a desirable lifestyle brand. Some top producers never participated in this lavish display and are still modest and hard to find.
The trend is catchy, though, and it definitely helps us visualize the fairy tale.
Modern techniques started in Bordeaux.
Bordeaux chateaux know how to make wine. Make no mistake. The fancy buildings and pompous attitudes are backed by true wine-making knowledge and steadfast technique. In fact, many famous oenologists come from the region and were integral in shaping the wine we know today.
The research and findings of Emile Paynaud provide the backbone of great winemaking and are still employed today. He improved upon our knowledge of quality grapes, when they should be picked, how they should be fermented and processed, and how they can be blended for the best outcomes.
The first wine brands came from Bordeaux.
Before Bordeaux rose to fame, no one labeled their wine. They simply made it and shipped it. Consumers knew they were ordering wines from Bordeaux, but they didn’t know which wines came from which maker.
When they began creating appellation boundaries in 1725, they started putting the production area on the bottle. Now consumers could purchase wines they liked and tell the difference between them based on where they were produced.
Other wines followed suit, and we can thank Bordeaux for our detailed labels telling us everything we need to know about the wine in the bottle.
Bordeaux is among the most expensive wines in the world.
Bordeaux potential for longevity and investment as well as the amount of wine produced in the region and the fact that its demand regularly exceeds the supply give it a perfect recipe for success.
Of the 100 finest wines in the world, Bordeaux has 74 of them, and in the secondary market, Bordeaux maintains its 70-80% share of the best wines available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Not all Bordeaux wines have to be expensive. Actually, most of them have similar costs to wines produced in other regions. The Bordeaux wines that you might find more expensive are the “cru classé” or classed growth, which are more exclusive.
No! Bordeaux is a wine region in France, and it actually doesn’t produce only red wines. They also offer a great selection of dry and sweet white wines. Even though they might be famous for their red wine nowadays, there was a time where the white grape was predominant in this region.
It is recommended to let the Bordeaux wine breathe for 30 minutes in any kind of decanter. This way, you are letting the tannic to “stretch”, having a favorable effect on the wine taste.
Drinking Bordeaux Today
Bordeaux may be old, but there’s certainly nothing boring about it. The origin of your favorite wine likely has roots in Bordeaux. Whether it’s the wine-making technique adopted by the best Bordeaux vintners or the labeling convention it follows today, it took something of its essence from the famous Bordeaux.
If you’re in the market to try some of the finest wines in the world, you can do so on any budget. There are fine vintages of any price, offering great taste and great value. It pairs well with plenty of different foods and it’s worth every penny.