Bordeaux: It’s What’s For Dinner.
Yes, Bordeaux and beef are traditionally a great combination, but there’s more to this pithy title than matching wine with steak. (The internet has enough of that already.)
Surprisingly, the wine of Downton Abbey and is far more versatile and affordable than many drinkers, sommeliers, and retailers will admit. That’s because there’s more to this coastal region of France than bold red blends.
The cool, breezy maritime climate of Bordeaux (which is situated around two rivers and the ocean) allows many grape varieties to flourish, which gives us drinkers plenty of options. The main red grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and the whites are dominated by Sauvignon Blanc. Usually, grapes won’t be mentioned on the label, but hunt for “Bordeaux AOP” and you’ll be getting a traditionally styled Bordeaux every time.
Though not as popular as the big reds adored worldwide, Bordeaux produces a wealth of dry white wines, rosés and dessert wines that make it an ideal match for quick suppers and multi-course feasts.
Currently, I’m adoring white Bordeaux blends that combine grassy, fresh Sauvignon Blanc grapes with Semillon, another French white. Often unoaked, these are easy to love, and easier to drink.
The 2015 Chateau du Champ des Treilles, for example, was bright, citrusy and inexpensive. I had it with steamed crab claws and some of spring’s first asparagus and it was a home run. Bright, tangy acidity and low oak use make these wines great with lighter springtime fare in general, and seafood in particular.
With pork and lamb, the reds (which are often lighter in body than you’d think) totally sing. Haut-Bana 2012, from the Médoc subregion of Bordeaux, combines toasty cherry and earth aromas (think: campfire smoke in a pine forest) with tangy fruit flavors and a pop of tart cherry. With low tannins, it’s easier to pair than most Cali Cabernets–and that’s saying a lot as we roll into grilling season.
Sold yet? You should be–this region is classic for a region, give it a try!
I’m not sure what will be on the table tonight, but you can bet a bottle of Bordeaux will be alongside.
Laura Loves: Decanting inexpensive wine to (1) Feel Fancy, and (2) Aerate the wine when using stemless glassware.
The city of Bordeaux! It’s charming and tiny, and has a fountain you can play in.
Fun Facts: The Castles in Bordeaux were made to look much older than they are, to create the idea of prestige in the region’s early years.
Bordeaux dessert wines made with Noble Rot are the most expensive in the world.
Try it Out: White Bordeaux & Chicken Caesar Salads
Claret and Pork Chops
White Bordeaux and Salmon