Find The Perfect Red Bordeaux
Find The Perfect Red Bordeaux
by JJ Buckley
One reason that the best red wines of Bordeaux have developed and maintained their place as the preeminent wine among many wine drinkers is because of their ability to age. As the years pass, the aromas and flavors of these wines constantly evolve and transform themselves. Over the centuries, wine lovers have prized these wines as they witness this evolution towards maturity.
But Bordeaux's popularity does not solely come from its ability to produce age worthy wines. Not all Bordeaux wineries possess either the desire or the terroirs to make wines that need years to mature. So why are the region's wines so popular among those who are not focused on aging and cellaring? It's the ability of red Bordeaux to adapt to a wide range of food that has made these wines so popular, not just in France, but across the globe.
The wine industry is just one part of the diverse agricultural industry in southwest France. The region's beef is renowned throughout the country and makes a logical pairing with Bordeaux's red wines. But the area is also known for its game birds and pork, which also marry well with the local reds. Even local seafood, sourced from the nearby Atlantic Ocean, finds a place at the table accompanied by red wines. That adage of "red wines with fish" is in full force in and around Bordeaux. It's from this local foundation that the world has learned that Bordeaux's red wines are so adaptable at the table.
Bordeaux is capable of producing a diverse range of wine styles thanks to the region's varied terroirs and different varietals that comprise the final wines. Here's a quick introduction to the types of wines produced by the regions' appellations and some insight to food pairings.
Discover Supple & Fruity Red Bordeaux
There are a number of appellations that pride themselves in producing fresh and approachable red wines. Red wines that bear the Bordeaux AOC and Bordeaux Supérieur AOC designations are perfect wines that are quite adaptable on the table. Here you can find crisp, low tannin wines that marry well with richer fish dishes and even work well with salads at lunch. The soft textures, often due to a high portion of Merlot in the final blend, also combine favorably with all types of fowl. And you'll find these wines served as aperitifs at all hours of the day.
Discover Round & Structured Red Bordeaux
Sometimes, you just need a wine with a bit more intensity and stuffing. Bordeaux's "Satellite Appellations" of the Right Bank (think Fronsac or Côtes de Castillon) as well as the popular regions of Pomerol and Saint-Emilion can fit that bill. The Merlot grape provides the foundation for the wines that are produced here thanks to a favorable combination of soils and climate that allow the grape to ripen easily. While classic pairings would include many beef preparations, think of Italian cuisine with their tomato-based sauces or meat-based Chinese dishes as a few areas to explore. Also, it's here where soft cheeses find their most favorable pairings as well.
Discover Powerful & Intense Red Bordeaux
We started this post discussing the collectable and age worthy wines that made red Bordeaux so popular over the years and it's these more powerful and intense examples that have the stuffing to age. But this doesn't mean that these types of wines need time to be part of tonight's dinner table. Winemakers and growers of the Haut-Médoc, home to such famous communes as Margaux and Pauillac, and the Graves and Pessac-Léognan appellations south of Bordeaux proper, have worked diligently to make their wines more approachable in their youth. What these regions share is the use of Cabernet Sauvignon as the backbone of their wines. The power and intensity found in these Bordeaux work with all types of meat preparations as well as firm, aged cheeses. So tasty now, there's no reason to wait!