Identifying Flavors In A Glass Of Bordeaux Wine

Bordeaux wine is a well-known red blend that has been around for centuries. It comes from the southwest French region of Bordeaux and typically contains Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Carmenere and occasionally Petit Verdot grapes.

Whether you are an experienced sommelier or just getting into wine tasting, identifying flavors in a glass of Bordeaux can be both challenging and rewarding.

In this article we will explore how to identify key characteristics in a glass of Bordeaux wine so that even novice tasters can come away with a greater appreciation for this classic varietal.

Understanding The Basics Of Bordeaux Wine

Bordeaux wine is a complex and sophisticated beverage, much like a tantalizing puzzle waiting to be solved. Its flavors are mysterious and ever-changing, with each sip unlocking new secrets of the glass. To appreciate its complexity one must first understand the basics of Bordeaux wine.

The most common type of Bordeaux comes from two principal grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In an ideal blend, these two grapes combine in various ratios to create an exquisite balance between tannins, fruitiness, acidity, oak influence and alcohol content – all factors that contribute to the taste of Bordeaux wine.

Additionally, other more minor varietals such as Malbec, Petit Verdot or Cabernet Franc may be included at times depending on the winemaker’s preference and philosophy.

When served correctly this red elixir will have a beautiful garnet color with bright highlights reflecting off clear crystal glassware; while swirls around it will provide aromas of dark fruits such as blackberry or plum along with woody notes like tobacco or leather.

With these fundamentals in mind we can now move forward towards analyzing the color and clarity of our bordeaux tasting experience.

Analyzing The Color And Clarity

Now that you have a basic understanding of Bordeaux wine, it is time to go a bit deeper and analyze the color and clarity.

Start by carefully examining the hue of your glass’s contents. It should be deep ruby or garnet in color if it is from a young vintage, while older vintages will tend toward brick-red or brownish shades depending on how long they have been aged.

The next step is looking at the clarity, which indicates how clear the liquid appears in the glass. A good quality bordeaux can appear almost crystal clear with no sediment present; however, there may be some cloudiness due to certain winemaking styles or processes used during production.

Last but not least, swirl your glass gently and take note of any legs that form as gravity pulls back down into the liquid—this reveals its viscosity, which ranges from thin in lighter wines up to thick syrupy legs for full-bodied varieties.

With all these factors considered, you now have an idea of what kind of bordeaux you are dealing with.

Next up: aromas and bouquet! To fully experience this classic French wine’s flavor profile one has to move beyond visual cues and start using their nose too.

Aromas And Bouquet

The aromas and bouquet of a bordeaux wine can be complex. Its aroma may have notes of red fruit such as cherry, raspberry or plum, but it can also contain herbal, floral and earthy scents. The oak aging process adds depth to the flavor profile through nuances like cedar and smoke.

In addition, this type of wine often has subtle undertones of leather, tobacco and even truffle. All these characteristics come together to create an incredibly unique scent that’s both powerful yet balanced.

When identifying the flavors in a glass of bordeaux wine, it is important to pay attention to the complexity they present. After taking a few deep sniffs, take some sips and let the flavors roll over your tongue slowly so you can get a better understanding of what makes this variety distinct from other wines.

Look out for tasting notes like blackberry jam, coffee beans, dark chocolate or currant to help differentiate each one’s individual character.

With all its components taken into account — from the nose to the palate — a bottle of bordeaux will reveal its essence little by little until its full potential is discovered. Now it’s time to move on to tasting and further investigating these flavors more closely.

Tasting And Identifying The Flavors

Now that we have discussed the aromas and bouquet of Bordeaux wine, it’s time to move on to tasting and identifying the flavors.

When sipping a glass of Bordeaux, take your time so you can really savor the flavor profile. Pay close attention to how the taste evolves in your mouth as you swallow it.

Generally speaking, this type of red wine is full-bodied with complex layers of ripe fruits including blackcurrants, cherries and plums along with herbal notes like tobacco or cedar wood. It should also be noted for its earthy elements such as leather, truffle and mushrooms.

The finish of a quality Bordeaux will linger on the palate after swallowing – usually revealing several different nuances before fading away slowly. Look out for warm spices like cinnamon or nutmeg as well as hints of smoke or graphite.

If all these flavors come together in harmonious balance then congratulations! You have just experienced one of life’s great pleasures – drinking an excellent bottle of Bordeaux Wine.

As we now move onto aging and storage considerations, let us not forget what makes this particular type of French classic so special: its complexity and depth when tasted correctly.

Aging And Storage Considerations

The aging and storage of a Bordeaux wine are absolutely incredible. It’s as if time stands still, like the world has stopped spinning, when you savor its flavors! Every sip is carefully crafted over years to bring out the most exquisite flavor profiles that send your taste buds into euphoria.

When it comes to storing Bordeaux wines, there are several considerations:

  • Temperature: Storing any type of wine at an ideal temperature helps keep its quality intact for longer periods of time. The optimal range for storing red bordeaux wines is between 55°F – 65°F (13°C – 18°C). This ensures all elements in the bottle remain balanced while keeping all fruit and tannin flavors in balance.
  • Humidity: Keeping humidity levels around 70%–75% prevents cork deterioration or mold growth on the bottles, which can damage the contents inside them.
  • Light Exposure: Long exposure to light can cause oxidation within wines; so make sure they’re stored away from windows or other sources of direct sunlight.

It goes without saying that proper handling and storing procedures must be taken seriously by those who wish to preserve their beloved bordeaux wines for many years to come!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Temperature To Serve Bordeaux Wine?

Bordeaux wine is best enjoyed at a temperature of between 59 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit, as this allows its complex flavors to come through.

Serving Bordeaux too cold will mute the flavor while serving it too warm can make it taste alcoholic.

Letting your bottle sit out on the counter for 15-20 minutes before pouring should be enough time to reach optimal drinking temperatures.

How Long Should I Decant Bordeaux Wine?

Decanting bordeaux wine is an important step to unlocking its full flavor potential. The time it takes for this process varies depending on the type and age of the bottle, however generally speaking you should expect at least 30 minutes of decanting to allow the tannins in aged reds to soften while also releasing more complex flavors.

By taking the extra time to properly decant your bordeaux, you’ll be sure to enjoy a well-rounded experience that will tantalize your palette with every sip!

How Does Bordeaux Wine Pair With Different Foods?

Bordeaux wine is a highly versatile variety that pairs well with many different types of food.

It has a rich and complex flavor profile, which makes it an ideal companion for red meat dishes like steak or lamb.

Its tannins also make it a perfect accompaniment to earthy vegetables such as mushrooms or walnuts.

For those looking for something lighter, the acidity in bordeaux can be balanced by pairing it with fish dishes like salmon or tuna.

Finally, its fruity notes are complemented nicely by desserts featuring berries or stone fruits.

What Is The Average Price Of A Bottle Of Bordeaux Wine?

Bordeaux wine is a popular red varietal, and prices can vary greatly depending on the vintage and blend.

Generally speaking, bottles of Bordeaux will range in price from $15-$150 USD or more for high-end vintages.

That being said, it’s not hard to find wines that offer good value for around $20 – $30 per bottle.

Does Bordeaux Wine Contain Sulfites?

Yes, bordeaux wine does contain sulfites. They are naturally occurring in grapes and may be added as a preservative during the winemaking process.

Sulfites can cause allergic reactions in some people, so it’s important to read labels carefully before consuming any type of wine.

Tasting bordeaux wines can help identify flavors such as blackberry, cherry, currant, plum, spice, tobacco, and cedar that could be present due to its specific blend of grapes.


To conclude, Bordeaux wine is a complex and flavorful beverage that can be enjoyed in many different ways.

It’s important to take the time to appreciate all of its nuances – from its deep ruby color to its earthy aromas, tart cherry flavors, and silky tannins.

Whether you’re sipping it with friends or pairing it with your favorite meal, I’m sure you’ll find something special about this classic French varietal.

With so much flavor potential waiting for us in each glass, I hope you explore the world of Bordeaux wine and discover its unique characteristics for yourself!

Recent Posts