Wine Bitten

  1. 2009 Chateau Ballan-Larquette Blanc ($15), a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend
  2. 2010 chateau Monet-Bordeaux ($13), a young,berry forward red blend
  3. 2010 Chateau Couronneau ($13), an organic red blend
  4. 2009 Chateau Le Grand Verdus Bordeaux Superieur ($13), a Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend    
  5. 2010 Chateau La Croix de Roche Bordeaux Superieur Rouge ($8), a blend of Merlot with Carmenere, Petit Verdot and Malbec  
  6. 2009 Chateau Saint Antoine Bordeaux Superieur ($15), a Merlot/ Cabernet Franc blend.  
Young, jammy, earthy, and dinner-ready wines kind to your pocket book—those were the six Bordeaux wines tasted in February 2013 by Linda Kissam’s Men’s Wine Council.  Ranging in price from $8 to $15, each paired well with a dish prepared by one of the attendees.  
Tasting any of these wines on their own would be a disservice; perhaps that’s one reason wine tasting American-style is uncommon in France.   We found our more complex dishes-- especially those with hearty and spicy ingredients-- complemented and intensified the wine’s own fruit, citrus, and mineral flavors. 
Bordeaux is, of course, a region, not a type of wine, but typically its wines are blends, with the Bordeaux Superieur wines being of smaller productionand usually aged longer in the barrel than the others we tasted.  

Bordeaux Wines

$6 to $15

We Tried.

Best Pairing

  1. Our top dishes were the Bobotie (a South African spiced curried meat dish with fruit) whose combination of flavors found a complement in every wine (click on the link for the recipe);
  2. Irish Stew, reminiscent of French countryside stews paired best with the reds; and
  3.  Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms with bacon, which welcomed all the wines.  Surprisingly, all these wines often overwhelmed an outstanding group of cheeses, but with ginger and citrus they were particularly memorable.
Our top picks were almost unanimous:  Chateau Saint Antoine Bordeaux Superieur was the most complex, with a discernibly minnerally, dry, full mouth feel, tasting juicy with black fruit and spices, with black currant, violet, plum and rose on the nose.  It paired with all the dishes, but was especially suited to Irish Stew and Bobotie. 

Our second favorite was the lone white, Chateau Ballan-Larquette Blanc; it too paired with everything, especially with the Bobotie’s lemony flavors, and it brought out the ocean in the Spicy Lime Grilled Shrimp.   The Blanc’s Semillon provided a full luscious balance to the Sauvignon Blanc’s acidity.  

A version of this article was first posted on The Wine