Get to Know Bordeaux
What is it?
Bordeaux is a wine growing region in the South West of France with a temperate Mediterranean, maritime climate. The region is most famous for high end red wines but also produces inexpensive table wines, dessert wines and elegant white wines.
Where is it grown?
The Bordeaux wine region sits on the banks of the Gironde and Dordogne rivers. The region is split largely into the Left Bank (the west of the Gironde), the Right Bank (the east of the Dordogne) and Entre-Deux-Mers (literally between two rivers). The Left Bank is famous for robust Cabernet Sauvignon based blends from uber-exclusive appellations such as Pauillac and Margaux. The Right Bank makes more approachable and elegant blends where Merlot is the star of the show. The Right Bank is home to infamous appellations such as St Emilion and Pomerol. Entre-Deux-Mers is known for its crisp, elegant whites but also produces good value red table wine too. Sauternes is the most Southerly appellation in Bordeaux and is somewhat of an outlier in that it produces botrysised sweet wines. Some of the best examples of Sauternes are considered some of the finest sweet wines in the world.
What does it taste like?
Left Bank Bordeaux wines are full bodied, oak aged wines with Cabernet Sauvignon being the main grape. This results in notes of blackberry, plumb, leather and tobacco. Wines from the Right Bank are slightly lighter with an elegant spiciness and rounded fruit. Expect more dark cherry fruit, vanilla and cinnamon spice. The whites of Entre-Deux-Mers are lean and crisp with a grassy citrus note and fresh green apple. Sauternes is famed for its honey, orange peel and mandarine marmalade notes.
What does it pair with?
The reds of Bordeaux usually call for a steak but can also be paired with hearty vegetarian dishes high in umami like a mushroom wellington or a lentil casserole. The light whites pair beautifully with seafood and creamy cheese while Sauternes pairs with strong cheese or creamy desserts.
Bordeaux is one of the most popular and famous wine regions on Earth. So much so that every second 20 bottles are sold somewhere around the world.