Wine & Beverages

Enjoying ‘Bordeaux Wine’

The Taste of Bordeaux Wine

Bordeaux wine, refers to all wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. Bordeaux is the second largest wine region in the world with over 284,320 acres under vine, 57 appellations, 9,000 wine-producing chateaux, and 13,000 grape growers (The largest being the Languedoc wine region with 617,750 acres under vine

Red Bordeaux, traditionally known as claret in the United Kingdom, is generally made from a blend of grapes. Permitted grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Carmenere, although the Malbec is very seldom used and Carmenere is now virtually absent in Bordeaux.

White Bordeaux is made from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Muscadelle.

Tasting Bordeaux Wines

Coulour, bouquet and taste
Tasting is far from some sort of ritual reserved for the elite. It is a pleasure for everyone who chooses to pen thier eyes, pay attention to what their nose tells them, and be sensitive to their taste buds.

When is the best time to drink Bordeaux? Whenever you please, and whatever your mood. You can enjoy Bordeaux as an aperitif, at a good meal with friends, in front of the television, or with a snack after a walk… Let the tasting begin ! This is the moment to bring back memories, excite our curiosity and bring a whole world of coulours, aromas and taste to mind…

A few simple rules on how to taste

bunch of grapes Tasting wine the right way starts with choosing the proper kind of wineglass. The ideal variety, the “Bordeaux glass” is tulip-shaped. It is gracefully tapered towards the bottom and curves slightly at the rim, which is ideal for aerating the wine and concentrating its bouquet. Very important : fill the glass just one-third full so that you can tilt it easily, and make sure to hold it by the foot of the stem. By not covering the bowl of the glass with your hands, it will be easy to admire the colour and appreciate the bouquet without warming up the wine.

Three stages of tasting and what they tell us

  • Appreciating the wine’s colour

In order to have the best possible look at a wine, bring the glass up to eye level and look through it towards a light source. Then lower the glass and tilt it slightly angainst the pale background to notice the wine’s subtle colour. This can be either deep ( a sign of strong personnality ) or light. A bright, brilliant hue indicates a vigorous wine. You can also judge the wine’s clarity at a glance. These signs are all indicative of the overall quality!

The nuances in red Bordeaux wines vary according to their origin and age. The youngest are often deep in colour, with tinges of violet or crimson. With age, this changes to ruby, cherry or garnet-net. The oldest wines have an orange or brownish brick-red colour.

Bordeaux roses provide a subtle range of colours : raspberry, orange and salmon pink.

The colour of white Bordeaux wines often gives you a clue as to the type of wine. Dry white wines range from virtually colourless to straw-coloured. Sweet and semi-sweet Bordeaux wines are deeper in colour from pale gold to amber.

  • Smell: the language of aromas

Violet, black currant, vanilla or truffle? Smelling a fine wine opens up a vast universe of aromas that are reminiscent of nature, as well as an infinite number of familiar or exotic smells. There are two steps to appreciating a wine’s bouquet. First of all, smell the wine as it sits still in the glass. Next, swirl it around to release the full bouquet. Complicated? No, not at all! Here are the 11 main families of smell :

  • Flowers

Red wines : violet, peony, rose, iris…
White wines : acacia, orange, blossom, honeysuckle, etc.

  • Fruit

Red wines : strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, red currant and cherry.

White wines : lemon, grapefruit, tropical fruit, peach and dried fruit : prune, fig, walnut, almond, etc.

  • Ethereal

Apple or green banana, pear drops, wax, yoghurt, cream, etc…

  • Plants

Hay, fern, boxwood, eucalyptus, tea, herb tea, tobacco leaf and green pepper. Moss and fresh mushrooms.

  • Toasted

Smoke, toast, caramel, cocoa, fresh roasted coffee and chocolate.

  • Wood

Green wood, dry wood, pencil shavings, cigar box and sandalwood. Pine trees, fir tress, resin etc…

  • Animal

Game, leather, fur, ambergris, musk, etc…

  • Herbs and spices

Dill, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, clove, licorice, thyme, bay leaf and truffles.

Tasting : the palate

Considering that our tastebuds can distinguish just four sensations ( sweet, salty, acid and bitter ), it is amazing that wine can provide such a hudge number of sensations ! The secret ? Take a small sip, swill it around in your mouth and ( discreetly ) take in some air at the same time to bring out the aromas.

During the tasting process, the wine will gradually reveal all : the velvety, silky or more rustic quality of its texture, the strength or finesse of the taste, and especially the impression of overall balance.

The final stage of tasting consists of swallowing the wine and concentrating on the “memory” it leaves on your palate. A good long aftertaste is as important to a fine wine as its colour and its bouquet.

All you need to do is to “store up” your tasting memories gradually to become a connoisseur of Bordeaux wine !

Bordeaux wine lists interesting, you can purchase at ‘Wine Connection & Deli Bistro’.

Chateau La Branne – Medoc

Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot
Type of wine: Red Wine
Vintage: 2004/06
Characteristics: Red fruits, spices and vanilla aromas.

Chateau De Parenchere – Cuvee Raphael – Bordeaux Superieur

Grape: Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon
Type of wine: Red Wine
Vintage: 2006
Characteristics: Dark robe. A lot of freshness on the nose, with ripe cherry aromas. In mouth, the wine is harmonious, displaying at the same time power, structure and a lot of freshness. The fruit is omnipresent.

Chateau Macay – Cotes De Bourg

Grape: Merlot / Cabernet Franc / Cabernet Sauvignon
Type of wine: Red Wine
Vintage: 2006
Characteristics: Garnet and ruby color. Superb nose with raspberries and wood. Suave and velvety in mouth. Beautiful length.

Chateau Vieux Saint Martin – Bordeaux Blanc AOC

Grape: Sauvignon / Sémillon
Type of wine: White Wine
Vintage: 2008
Characteristics: A fresh attack with intense citrus flavor, and notes of grapefruit and acacia. Good roundness and tonic aftertaste.

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