Buying Bordeaux wine can be an intimidating task, especially when you’re unfamiliar with the region and its offerings. But don’t worry; it’s easier than you might think!
With a few helpful tips, anyone can become an expert in selecting the perfect bottle of Bordeaux. In this article, we’ll cover everything from grape varietals to regions and more – so let’s get started!
- 1 Understanding The Basics Of Bordeaux
- 2 Identifying Grapes And Regions
- 3 Exploring Different Types Of Bordeaux Wines
- 4 Selecting The Right Bottle For Your Needs
- 5 Knowing Your Price Range And Buying Tips
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6.1 What Is The Best Way To Store An Unopened Bottle Of Bordeaux Wine?
- 6.2 How Long Does A Bordeaux Wine Typically Last After Opening?
- 6.3 How Can I Tell The Difference Between A Good Vintage Of Bordeaux And A Bad Vintage?
- 6.4 How Do I Know If I Am Getting A Good Price For A Bottle Of Bordeaux?
- 6.5 What Is The Difference Between A Bordeaux And A Burgundy Wine?
- 7 Conclusion
Understanding The Basics Of Bordeaux
Bordeaux wine is a type of French red or white wine from the Bordeaux region. It’s one of the most famous and widely-recognized styles of wine, with bottles ranging in price from very affordable to highly expensive. Its fame comes mainly from its blends: different grapes combined together to create unique flavors and aromas.
The main grape varietals used in Bordeaux are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Semillon and Muscadelle. Each contributes its own set of characteristics that make up the final blend – some are more tannic than others while other provide body or fruity notes. Knowing how each one plays off the other helps you determine which bottle might be best for you.
When looking for Bordeaux wines at a store or online shop, look out for their labels as they contain important information about where it was produced and who made it. This will help you narrow down your search even further as certain producers specialize in certain types of wines based on terroir (the environment where the grapes were grown).
By taking these factors into account when searching for your ideal bottle of Bordeaux wine, you’ll be able to choose one that suits your tastes perfectly. Now let’s turn our attention to identifying grapes and regions…
Identifying Grapes And Regions
Recognizing the various grapes and regions of Bordeaux is essential for purchasing the right kind of wine.
To begin, it’s important to understand that there are two different types of wines from this region: reds and whites. Red wines can be made with many varieties of grapes, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec among others. Similarly, white wines can be produced using Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon or Muscadelle grape varieties.
But beyond simply knowing which type of wine you’re looking for, understanding where in Bordeaux these different varietals grow best is also key in making a great purchase decision.
The most well-known area within Bordeaux is known as “the Left Bank” – an apt moniker since its vineyards lie on the western side of the Gironde Estuary. This part of Bordeaux produces mainly classic left bank blends such as Cabernet Sauvignon dominant Medoc and Graves appellations.
In contrast, across the estuary lies “the Right Bank” — home to more fruit forward expressions like Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé and Pomerol AOCs which use both Merlot and Cabernet Franc dominate their blends. Further south near Libourne resides Fronsac appellation famed for its soft tannins due to slightly cooler climate than other parts of Bordeaux.
No matter what style you prefer however, all these areas offer excellent examples of world class winemaking that should not be overlooked by any enthusiast who wants to experience true French character in a bottle! With so much diversity at hand one thing remains certain; there truly is something special waiting discoverable around every corner when exploring Bordeaux’s vast range of unique flavors.
Exploring Different Types Of Bordeaux Wines
Bordeaux wines come in a variety of styles. Red Bordeaux is typically made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and sometimes other grape varieties. White Bordeaux can be made from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon or Muscadelle grapes. It’s important to understand the differences between these types of wine when attempting to buy the right bottle for your needs.
If you’re looking for something light and fruity, then opt for a young red Bordeaux or white Bordeaux that has been aged two years or less. These wines tend to have bright acidity and lower tannin levels so they are great for pairing with lighter dishes.
For those seeking medium-bodied wines with more complexity and flavor intensity choose an older vintage such as a five year old Bordeaux blend which will include both Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes.
For full-bodied robust flavors look no further than an aged Grand Cru Classé or Premier Cru Classé Bordeaux blend which contain higher levels of tannins yet still maintain balance due to their long aging process in oak barrels. You’ll find intense aromas of blackcurrant, tobacco leaf, leather and cedar wood along with dark fruit flavors on the palate making them ideal for savoring alongside grilled meats or mature cheese platters.
With all this knowledge under your belt you can go confidently about selecting the perfect bottle for any occasion!
Selecting The Right Bottle For Your Needs
Choosing the right Bordeaux wine can be like navigating a maze. With so many different types and styles of wines, it can be difficult to know which bottle is best for your needs.
To make your selection process easier, here are some tips:
- Understand the Types of Wines – Bordeaux consists of two main categories: red and white. Despite this distinction, there are many sub-categories within each type that range from sweet to dry, light to full bodied, young to aged, and more.
- Learn Your Preferences – Before selecting any bottle, take time to understand what kind of flavors you prefer in a good glass of wine. Do you enjoy fruity or herbal notes? Are you looking for something with high tannins or a heavier body? Taking these factors into consideration will help narrow down your choices significantly.
- Research Wine Makers & Vineyards – There’s no better way to find out about an individual wine than by researching its maker and vineyard origin. Many times reviews from experts or other customers on sites such as Cellar Tracker can provide helpful insight when deciding which bottle suits your taste buds the best.
From here, determining how much you want to spend on a particular bottle should come easily once all necessary information has been gathered and understood thoroughly. Knowing your price range and buying tips are essential steps towards finding the perfect Bordeaux wine for any occasion!
Knowing Your Price Range And Buying Tips
When shopping for Bordeaux wines, it’s important to know your price range. High-end bottles will cost more than basic types, but you can also find good-quality bottles at mid-range prices. Prices are affected by factors such as vintage and quality ratings from wine critics. It pays to do some research before buying a bottle of Bordeaux so you know what kind of price tag you should expect.
To get the most out of your purchase, look for reputable sellers with a wide selection of Bordeaux wines in your preferred price range. You may have to shop around a bit until you find the right dealer or retailer who offers both quality and great value.
Ask knowledgeable salespeople questions about any particular bottle that interests you; they should be able to provide information on its origin and taste profile.
Finally, consider joining an online tasting group or attending physical tastings if possible. These events offer opportunities to sample different kinds of Bordeaux wines while learning more about them from other enthusiasts. With this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to make smart choices when selecting individual bottles for purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Way To Store An Unopened Bottle Of Bordeaux Wine?
The best way to store an unopened bottle of Bordeaux wine is in a cool, dark place. Temperature should remain consistent and the humidity level should be between 50-80%.
Keep the bottle on its side so that the cork stays moist; this will prevent air from entering the bottle and spoiling the contents.
Be sure to avoid any places with strong odors, as these can seep into the wine and affect its taste.
Finally, you’ll want to keep it out of direct sunlight or fluorescent lighting as both can also have adverse effects on quality.
How Long Does A Bordeaux Wine Typically Last After Opening?
An opened bottle of Bordeaux wine will typically last for about three to five days if stored properly.
It’s important to keep it in a cool, dark place and make sure the cork is firmly sealed.
Once opened, you should finish the bottle within that time frame so as not to lose its flavor or aroma.
How Can I Tell The Difference Between A Good Vintage Of Bordeaux And A Bad Vintage?
Telling the difference between a good vintage of Bordeaux and a bad one is no easy task.
When it comes to red wines, look for deep colors with purplish hues that are vibrant or have hints of ruby and garnet.
Pay attention to aromas like ripe fruits, spices, leather, tobacco, or cedar as well.
On the palate, you should experience flavors such as blackberries, cherries, currants, plums and even chocolate.
The tannins should be balanced and smooth; if they’re too intense then the wine may not age well.
Finally, check for the presence of acidity in order to ensure that the wine has enough structure for aging potential.
How Do I Know If I Am Getting A Good Price For A Bottle Of Bordeaux?
Price is an important factor to consider when selecting a bottle of Bordeaux.
To ensure you’re getting the best deal, it’s essential to do some research before making your purchase.
A good starting point is to compare prices for the same vintage from multiple retailers – if one store has particularly low pricing, that should be considered with caution.
Additionally, looking into ratings and reviews can be useful in determining whether or not a particular label is worth its price tag.
By taking the time to compare different wines and their associated costs, you’ll have a better chance of finding quality bordeaux at the right price.
What Is The Difference Between A Bordeaux And A Burgundy Wine?
Bordeaux and Burgundy wines are both popular varieties of French wine, but they differ in several ways.
Bordeaux is made from a blend of grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, while Burgundy typically uses only Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.
Additionally, Bordeaux tends to be more full-bodied and tannic than Burgundy, with higher levels of acidity and alcohol.
The most significant difference between these two types of wine lies in their geographical origin; Bordeaux hails from the southwest region of France near the city of Bordeaux itself, whereas Burgundy comes from the east central area called Bourgogne.
When considering the purchase of a Bordeaux wine, there are many factors to consider.
Not only must you be aware of the differences between Burgundy and Bordeaux wines, but also take into account vintage quality as well as storage methods for unopened bottles.
If you can determine all these elements to your satisfaction then you will have taken the first steps towards buying an excellent bottle of Bordeaux that will last for years!
But beware: even with the best knowledge and information available, it’s still possible to end up paying too much or getting a bad bottle.
The key is in doing your research carefully and being patient; if done correctly, you’ll soon find yourself enjoying a fantastic glass of authentic Bordeaux.