We are only on week two but I have to admit I’m really digging this whole wine Wednesday thing we’ve got going on. In the world of wine there is SO.MUCH.INFORMATION to learn, digest, understand and memorize (at least for me and my test). I find it really helpful to think about my studies in terms of what could be helpful for a person simply interested in knowing enough about wine to pick out a good bottle at the market or from the wine list at a restaurant.
Well, buckle up my friends because this week we are diving in head first with the grand-daddy of them all, Bordeaux. It’s a HUMONGOUS-GINORMOUS-MAMMOTH category of wine but I promise to try to keep it to the most helpful tips and maybe even lead you to discover a new favorite bottle.
BORDEAUX…don’t let the long names scare you!
Featured Wine: La Meuliere Chateau de Emotion Grand Reserve, Cadillac, Appellation Cotes de Bordeaux ontrolee, 2009, $39.95 at BevMo (but on the 5 cent sale so the second bottle was 5 cents, full disclosure: the wine expert helped me with this one…I’m still learning just like you!)
Flavors: I experienced dark earthy almost dusty (it’s a descriptor, I swear) scents and tasted currants, maybe a hint of blackberry and tobacco
Food Pairing: I made a mushroom risotto for a certain birthday boy (hence the splurge on a nice wine) and it paired beautifully. It would also go well with red meats, stews and dark greens, think rich flavors.
Find a Bottle: Read the label!
- Look for what’s SUPERIOR. Appellation Bordeaux-Superieur Controllée and Appellation Bordeaux Controllée sound similar but that small difference in wording is your big hint on which bottle you should reach for. Bordeaux-Superieur wines tend to have slightly more alcohol by volume and are aged for a minimum of 12 months. That small difference in standards can mean a big difference in the end as many Superieur producers shoot for much higher standards than they are held to.
- ABV (alcohol by volume) isn’t something we check to monitor how good of a buzz we will get, it can actually be helpful in understanding the quality of the grapes. When looking at (some) Bordeaux a higher ABV can mean a better product (12.5% – 13.9%).
- “Mis en Bouteille au Chateau”…yeah, I took Spanish too. It means “put in bottle at winery” which means the producer made the wine vs selling the grapes off to potentially be blended with lesser quality product.
If you want to know more head over to Wine Folly, where they do a fantastic job using infographics to to aid in wine education.