Bordeaux Le Wine Buff, Rob Moshein, makes pairing for the holidays simple with this easy to follow guide. Whether you’re looking for red, white, rosé or sweet wines, there’s a Bordeaux to go with every dish at your holiday dinner. Got questions? Tweet us at @BordeauxWines or @AustinWineGuy!
This year, we had the pleasure of partnering with the fine folks at Lucky Rice, an Asian food festival featuring regional chefs from across the nation. While at first glance, Bordeaux Wines and Asian cuisine might seem like a peculiar pairing, attendees were surprised and delighted to find how the range of balanced, fresh and crisp Bordeaux whites complimented the flavors, aromas and spices often found in Asian fare.
We had a great time with Lucky Rice in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Miami! Though the journey may be over, you can try this delicious pairing at home any time. Sift through some of our Lucky Rice inspired recipes here or here and find one below from Mr. Chow’s in Miami!
- 9 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 package phyllo, thawed
- All-purpose flour, as needed
- Melted butter
- Mix scallions with sesame oil and the salt. Place one layer of phyllo on work surface and brush with melted butter. Add another layer and repeat with butter. Sprinkle with scallions and repeat with another two layers until you have 10 layers total of phyllo. Repeat whole process until you have used all scallions and phyllo. Slice the large pancakes into smaller squares and bake in 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Many people stress about selecting wines during the holidays. Our advice: relax and enjoy yourself. Bordeaux has a special place this time of year and serves as a perfect fit to bring to a party, drink with a meal, or to gift to someone special. Simply identify the occasion and refer to the following tips.
For parties, you’ll want something easy and versatile. Bordeaux fills this niche with no problems. White or red? It really doesn’t matter. Choose what you like to drink, and rest assured other guests will be fine with it. It’s a party after all!
At around $15, Chateau Bonnet Blanc makes a great party White with dry, fruity and crisp flavors that always stay light.
Chateau Ballan Larquette 2012, also around $15, makes a great party Red with soft, fresh tones and a nice red fruit that appeals to all red drinkers.
Choosing the right Bordeaux for a meal is also a snap. What foods are being served?
For seafood, salads, light appetizers, ham or turkey; go with White Bordeaux. Chateau Les Clauzots 2011 from the Graves Appellation is a fine choice: under $20 with citrus tones, dry and solid acidity to pair with food.
Prime Rib, Lamb, Pork and stews call for Red. Chateau Tour Pibran 2009 from Pauillac is a perfect pairing here. Around $30, almost equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with a rich supple body, firm elegant tannins and lovely notes of cherry, cocoa and berry.
When it comes to desserts you choose Sweet. Chateau Piada 2006 Sauternes, full bodied, bright with viscous notes of honey, orange blossom and nutmeg.
See? That’s not hard at all.
When gifting wine, gift Bordeaux. Why? Wines typical to the region tend to please most palates and are among the most popular wines in the world. If the lucky person on the receiving end is someone you know well, simply think about their wine preferences. If it’s a business associate or work colleague you don’t know as well, don’t sweat it, there’s a balanced Bordeaux out there that any wine lover will love.
Some things to remember: Cabernet and Merlot vines in California came from Bordeaux and most Bordeaux reds are Cabernet and Merlot blends, which means if they like California reds, chances are they will love Bordeaux.
Men tend to prefer red, younger crowds tends to prefer sweet, but there are really no hard rules.
For someone special, you can choose one great bottle, or pick a small selection of say 4 to 6 bottles of less expensive wines which they can enjoy all year long.
Those who are regular wine drinkers might appreciate one great bottle such as Chateau Tour Pibran 2009, Pauillac from a spectacular vintage which will please any seasoned oenophile and still fall under the $50 price point.
Friends just learning about wine will enjoy a selection they can have some fun with, so choose four or five wines from the many different regions of Bordeaux both Right Bank and Left Bank, called “Appellations”. For $50 you can send them on a virtual tour of Bordeaux.
You can also dress up one bottle of wine by adding a pair of nice wine glasses and a nice corkscrew. Take one bottle of Mouton Cadet Red 2012 at around $10-12, add 2 good red wine glasses at $6 each, put them into a box tied up with a ribbon and voila, a great gift for only $25.
Make your gift personal for the cooks in your life by choosing a food pairing suggestion handwritten on a nice card. Look for Chateau les Hauts-Consellants 2010 Lalande-de-Pomerol at $25 and design a nice card suggesting pairing this Merlot based wine with Steak au Poivre and include the recipe with a small bottle of gourmet peppercorns. Wasn’t that easy?
Bordeaux wines are so special and beloved because of their versatility, reliability and affordability. Relax and enjoy the Season with family and friends. Bordeaux wines will help make your Holidays Merry and Bright. Cheers!
This post was brought to you by Austin-based Bordeaux Wine Buff, Rob Moshein aka Austin Wine Guy and professional of 34 vintages.
Rob Moshein has been a Bordeaux Le Wine Buff from the beginning. He “cut his teeth” on some of the great 1st Growth Bordeaux of the 1960s and 70s. More on Rob at austinwineguy.com.
This past September, we hosted US wine bloggers from across the country for our annual Bordeaux Blogger Trip. On the itinerary? A full week of immersion including wine tastings, Chateau visits, dining excursions and a unique opportunity to get a behind the scenes glimpse of the Bordeaux harvest. (As we like to say around the Bordeaux HQ, it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it.) During their stay, we asked our Bordeaux adventurers to keep a short travel diary of their experience.
This week, our favorite Aussie Bordeaux Wine Buff and Chief Wine Officer, Tamara Gibb, takes us back to Bordeaux:
TAMARA’S BORDEAUX TRAVEL DIARY
What a truly spectacular start to our Bordeaux trip! The day commenced with a walking tour of Bordeaux, meandering through the streets and alleys, past countless magnificent monuments, and pristine wine stores. Then onto the bus bound for Cap Ferret. A delicious lunch of foie gras and goat’s cheese washed down with Chateau Landereau, Entre-deux-Mers White and Rosé. We continued with a boat trip through Cap Ferret basin finishing with a tasting of exquisite oysters in the most sublime setting, overlooking the basin, in a little fishing hut. A perfect day. Looking forward to our wine class tomorrow at the CIVB with Maxine.
An early start today with a masterclass at the CIVB given by the wonderful Maxine Colas. We tasted some fantastic examples of very affordable, everyday drinking wines. It was then off to Chateau Biac in Cadillac. What a wonderful property and the Asseily family couldn’t be more dedicated and passionate about making great wines. We had a lovely lunch on their terrace overlooking the Garonne enjoying the Chateau Biac 2011, matured for 14 months, elegant and powerful plus the luscious Secret de Biac made in a 500ml bottle. I loved being back in the area, it brought back fond memories of my time spent there during the 1999 harvest at Chateau Lezongars.
Today was spent in the Medoc, an easy drive from the center of Bordeaux. We were eager and poised to help Martine Cazeneuve kick off the harvest by picking the Merlot at Chateau Paloumey. On arrival we were told that the Merlot wasn’t quite ready so we had to settle for a walk through the vineyards and a tasting instead. We enjoyed wines from Chateau Paloumey and their other property Chateau La Garricq from Moulis. It was then onto Chateau Mongravey in Margaux for a tour and tasting with the magnificent Karin Bernaleau, a fabulous ambassador for Margaux and Cru Bourgeois. Our last stop for the day was at Lynch-Bages where we got to become blenders for the afternoon. We split into 2 teams, girls versus the boys – good effort boys but of course the girls prevailed!
One of my favorite places to visit, Saint Emilion, a medieval town an hour from Bordeaux, the land of macaroons and Merlot! After a tour of the town, and a chance to walk off the foie gras and confit from the night before, it was off to visit Nicolas at Chateau Maison Blanche. An interesting tour and tasting of some terrific bio-dynamic wines. I loved the 2011 vintage, well balanced with ripe, juicy blackberry fruit and a soft, elegant finish. I hope we see them soon in the US market! It was then off to visit Chateau Coutet, before heading to Chateau du Tailhas in Pomerol where they had already started harvesting. I just pray that the rains (and especially hail) hold off over the next week so all that lovely Merlot, & Cabernet Franc can reach optimal ripeness.
Though Sauternes, Bordeaux’s signature sweet white wine, is often described as a dessert wine, it is in fact a perfect complement to certain savory and spicy dishes. For instance, the French regularly pair this golden, sweet wine with distinct ingredients such as foie gras and sharp cheese. Sauternes also makes for a fantastic aperitif and a great way to set the mood for a special occasion.
Kick off your Thanksgiving dinner with a surprising little twist and blow your dinner guests away. Below, find a few tips on how to serve Sauternes as an aperitif. If you don’t already have aperitif size stemware in your collection, this might be a nice excuse to do so.
If you don’t already have aperitif size stemware in your collection, this might be a nice excuse to do so.
Chill the Sauternes in advance. It’s best served around 45-50 degrees Farenheit which is about 10 to 15 degrees warmer than your fridge.
Sauternes is a sipping wine. You don’t need to pour a lot of it, which is why you can often find it in a half bottle size. Consider pouring about half a regular glass worth.
If you really want to tickle the palette, serve a spread of sharp cheese like Roquefort for guests to nibble on as they sip!
We recommend two Sauternes from this year’s Today’s Bordeaux selection. Find them at your local retailer or simply ask your wine clerk for Sauternes!