Wine Lists Demystified
But identifying that dreamy Bordeaux pairing on a wine list can be tricky. Especially if you are not familiar with the 60+ appellations in the region. Here are a few quick tips to what for look for next time you find yourself in a staring contest with a wine list:
#1 – Regional Bordeaux – The Obvious.
If you see the words Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur, Bordeaux Blanc or Bordeaux Rosé mentioned these are regional wines from Bordeaux! What does that mean? It means the grapes used to produce the wine were grown within the general designated Bordeaux vineyard area. You can’t really go wrong with these wines – classic, accessible and generally very affordable.
#2 – Left Bank – Full Bodied. If you have an affinity for full bodied reds with more tannins you might want to try a Cabernet Sauvignon dominant wine from the “Left Bank” of Bordeaux. Look for the appellations of Médoc, Margaux, Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe, or Saint-Julien. These wines are as good with a juicy steak as they are with a satisfying burger and fries.
#3 – Right Bank – Smooth and Voluptuous.
Maybe you’re looking for something voluptuous and a little smooth with fleshier tannins and more plummy red fruit? Then turn your eyes to Merlot dominant wines from the “Right Bank.” Some sub-regions to know are Saint-Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsac. These medium-bodied Merlot blends would be a great compliment to chicken or a lightly spiced protein.
#4 – Dry Whites – Refreshing.
Do you love refreshing, vibrant dry whites? Then look no further than the white wines of Entre-Deux-Mers. These predominantly Sauvignon Blanc blends are fresh, crisp, and fruity. If your preference is whites with some minerality and texture then the white wines of the Graves sub-region are a must try. These white wines are our go-to for salads, fish, chicken, even Chinese or Thai.
#5 – Sweet Bordeaux – Flexible.
These surprising wines are much more flexible than you might imagine. Don’t limit sweet Bordeaux to dessert. Instead, try sweet wines as an aperitif or as a dinner pairing (one of our favorites is fried chicken and Sauternes)! Sauternes and Barsac are the two most noble sweet wines sub-regions Bordeaux . When drinking try to notice the acid in these wines and you’ll be awed by their depth and deliciousness.