05 September 2022
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Bordeaux wines are ready for summer and early fall enjoyment. 

France’s largest winemaking region makes a wide – WIDE –  array of styles. Many to most of these wines can be enjoyed lightly chilled to properly cold during the hottest months of the year. Time to say “Santé!”

From dry to lightly-sweet whites, pale to boldly-colored rosés and bubblies even to reds that welcome an ice bath, Bordeaux can serve any summer wine occasion with flair while doing it at a very comfortable price point. That’s right! Bordeaux’s über-pricey, age-worthy wines make up only a tiny portion of its production. (Really, about only 10%!) What’s more, this vast majority of the region’s wines still taste of elegance, gravitas and the actual dirt (ahem…terroir) from which they come. 

And frankly, Bordeaux wines, whatever their colors or styles, tend to offer a higher quality-to-value ratio when compared to all other French regions. Does that sound contradictory to what you think of when you think of Bordeaux? Please read on below!

Here are a few must-knows about Bordeaux. Did you know that:

  •  70%+ of Bordeaux wines sold in the US retail for less than $20? 
  • the USA is Bordeaux’s #1 export market for dry whites in both volume and value? 
  • speaking of white wines, did you know that Bordeaux’s late harvest wines can be more delicious with savory foods than dessert? They’re often less than half as sweet as the region’s best-known wines from Sauternes and Barsac! This gives them more approachability and malleability with savory – and also spicy – food pairings. Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, Sichuan, Cantonese and Indian come to mind, but any cooking style laden with spice and aromatics is well-suited. 
  • Bordeaux is the home of the entirely unique and deeply colored rosé called clairet (“clair-ay“) that is hands-down the perfect solution for the table that wants to drink both white or pale rosé and red. Clairet has more color, body and just a wee bite of tannin. 
  • Slightly more than 1% of Bordeaux’s production is sparkling Crémant de Bordeaux. The use of a wide array of varieties gives it maximum complexity! The rosés tend to show some extra personality given the use of classic black grape varieties from the region. These are not shy crémants looking to only lees-aging for their personalities!
  • Bordeaux gives Merlot a real reason for living – especially in warm temperatures, both during the growing and sipping seasons! The cool, deep clay soils that Merlot thrives in – especially on the Right Bank – keep Merlot comfortable during the growing season and similarly give Bordeaux’s easy-going styles of Merlot-dominant wines vital freshness after they have been bottled. 

By style or by occasion, go Bordeaux

These ideas are only the starting points for why Bordeaux should be a go-to wine, whatever the color or occasion. Keep in mind, too, that it is worth being creative with your gathering occasions! The traditional holidays of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day are only the start. Integrate French holidays, too! The summer solstice and music holiday of Fête de la Music, the weeks of the Tour de France cycling challenge and Bastille Day (July 14th), and of course, the month of August all offer fun reasons to gather around a nice bottle of wine. Here’s to Bordeaux!

 


Click below to watch the webinar that inspired this article and discover even more about Bordeaux,
Understanding & Selling a Range of Fresh Styles.

Note:
Article written by Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine 

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