Whether you're just tiptoeing into the world of wine or have been sipping for decades, it doesn't take long to realize that when it comes to wine, Bordeaux is a big deal. Not just in terms of acres (or hectares) under vine, though it does take the title for largest AOC wine growing region in France, but Bordeaux's influence boasts of historical significance and modern day prowess.
However, navigating Bordeaux wines for the newbie oenophile can be a daunting endeavor. Unfamiliar estates, villages, AOC designations, and sheer geography can throw even the most enthusiastic would-be Bordeaux buyer into a virtual tailspin.
Keep in mind that blends rule in Bordeaux. With the top blends formed from the red wine grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc setting the tone and distinct back up vocals coming from Petit Verdot and Malbec. Bottle labels sport the names of villages, not grapes, with an understated emphasis on river banks (Right Bank or Left Bank) often used as clues to hint at dominate grape varietals in the blend.
Close to 90% of Bordeaux's wine market consists of red wine, yet there are plenty of downright delicious, dry white wines that lean heavily on the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes, and the region's famous Sauternes dessert wines claiming plenty of sweet limelight while finding a firm foundation in the Semillon varietal. Looking to learn more about Bordeaux wines? Check it out here: