Wine and food pairing tips
Left Bank Appellations
  Left Bank Bordeaux Wines  
Bordaux wine notes, Saint-Estèphe appellation


Dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon and blended with Merlot to produce more supple wines. They stand out for their very rich tannic structure and beautiful deep red color. They are intense and highly concentrated with a robust texture and flavor, full-bodied wines, though not excessively. They can be kept for a very long time while preserving their youth and freshness. They may be a little rough if not extensively matured.
Unlike Pauillac and Margaux there is no Premier Grand Cru Classé estate in the Saint-Estèphe appellation. Nevertheless, it is home to Montrose and Cos d'Estournel, both renowned for the quality of their wines.

Tips: These powerful and intense wines are wonderful with grilled steaks, lamb and game dishes.
Bordeaux wine notes, Pauillac appellation


The Longest lived of all Bordeaux wines, they are velvet red with a hint of amber in color, medium to full-bodied, rich in tannin and vigorous. Powerful when young, their floral or fruity Cassis (black current) aromas melt with the passing of time into a bouquet of cedary shadings and notes of cigar box, on the long finish.
Three of the five 1855 classification First Growths are located in AOC Pauillac: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Mouton-Rothschild.

Tips: Grilled or roasted lamb and a well-chosen Pauillac wine as good a pairing as it gets. Pauillac is also a perfect wine with not overly seasoned meat dishes, such as marbled steak, roasted duck and game.
Bordeaux wine notes, Saint-Julien appellation


Particularly harmonious, the wines of St. Julien have a fine deep color and a solid constitution of tannin, which guarantees an excellent propensity for aging. They are medium to full bodied, very rich in flavor and have a delicate bouquet of classic Bordeaux dark fruits and cedar.
Although it contains no First Growth, the numerous top classified growths produce some of the finest wines of Bordeaux.

Tips: These delicate well balanced wines are wonderful with grilled steaks, lamb and game dishes.
Bordeaux wine notes, Margaux appellation


It is the largest of the Medocs' communal appellations. The gravely soils with low clay content are ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon in particular. Delicate and subtle, Margaux is often described to be the most feminine wine from Bordeaux. It produces elegant to highly concentrated, medium to full bodied wines with silky texture. Their terroir imparts tannins which give them long life and present an exceptional palette of aromas, which are expressed differently depending on their Château of origin.
Margaux is home to 21 classified châteaux (1855) including the esteemed First Growth Château Margaux, one of Bordeaux's best known wines.

Tips: A fine roast lamb possibly with gratin dauphinois (cream and potatoes flatter most old reds) or aged beef, with light seasoning is perfect partner with Margaux or red Bordeaux wine in general.
Bordeaux wine notes, Haut-Médoc appellation

Haut-Médoc Appellation (AOC)

The Haut Médoc is the southern portion of the Médoc, extending from just above the village of Saint-Estéphe to the south until the city of Bordeaux. It includes Saint-Estéphe, Pauillac, Saint-Julien, Margaux, and vineyards surrounding these communes. The wines produced from these surrounding vinyards are labeled Haut-Medoc.
They are generally produced in an elegant and lighter style. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates, blended with Merlot and a small percentage of Cabernet Franc. The red wines of the Haut-Médoc share many of the qualities of their prestigious neighbores with a lighter price tag.

Tips: The structure of Cabernet Sauvignon combining with Merlot's plumminess complements the fleshiness of a choice cut of meat. They are wonderful wines to accompany lamb, beef or pork dishes.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Medoc appalation wine notes

Médoc Appellation (AOC)

Bordeaux's largest and the best known wine region, Médoc vineyards are in a triangular piece of land north of the city of Bordeaux, stretching from Atlantic ocean to the left bank of Gironde estuary. Médoc wines are broken into two sub-regions, Haut-Médoc in the south and Médoc AOC in the north.
The red wines produced in the Médoc AOC are for everyday consumption and don't require long term cellaring. They are great value and good introductory wines to the more complex and expensive Bordeaux wines.

Tips: These fruity full-bodied red wines are good accompanying wine with range of meat based dishes such as lamb, roast beef, ham, rabbit and foods made with rich sauces. They can also be enjoyed with various cheeses, particularly with hard and sharp cheeses such as Roquefort, Beaufort, Comté and Emmental.
Sauvignon Blanc, Graves / Pessac-Léognane;ognan wine notes

Graves / Pessac-Léognan

Graves lies to the south of the city of Bordeaux. The region produces both red and dry white wines on the very gravelly soils. The red wines are similar to the Médoc and tend to express a soft and earthy quality. But, the general reputation of Graves is for its whites. Producing one of the most elegant white wines with distinctive character in the world. They are dry, crisp and have touch of mineral characteristics with citrus notes.
Graves highest quality wines are produced in the northern region of the district, under the appellation named Pessac-Léognan, home to the Château Haut-Brion the only First Growth property outside the Médoc. Together with its sister property La Mission Haute-Brion, they are capable of producing exceptional quality wines.

Tips: Richness associated with the blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, makes Graves whites to stand up to richer fish flavors and sauces and particularly pairs well with smoked salmon, but it also works with wide variety of dishes. Reds are well adapted to lamb, beef, and foods made with rich sauces.
Botrytis-Cinerea fungus or Noble Rot, Sauternes-Barsac wine notes

Sauternes / Barsac

Sauternes is the world's best known sweet wine. The Sauternes AOC is in the Graves district of the Bordeaux region. It includes the 5 communes of Barsac, Bommes, Fargues, Preignac and Sauternes near the Garonne river. Although Barsac is in Sauternes, its wines can be labeled either Barsac (its own appellation) or Sauternes.
Semillon is the dominant Sauternes grape variey, blended with some Sauvignon Blanc and occasionally with a small amount of Muscadelle. In a good vintage year these grapes are infected by the Botrytis Cinerea fungus caused by the mist from the Céron river. This beneficial mold causes grapes to shrivel, leaving sweet and juicy fruit full of rich concentrated flavor. The Botrytis Cinerea contributes a desirable spicy and complex nature to both aroma and flavor. The result is a rare and expensive sweet wine with deep gold color, richly concentrated flavor and a lively acid finish with aromas of dried apricots.

Tips: The sweet texture with delicate acidic balance makes Sauternes an ideal wine to enjoy with Foie gras (goose liver) or Duck à l'orange. But it also can be enjoyed with sweet desserts or on its own.
Semillon grape, Entre-Daux-Mers wine notes


Entre-Deux-Mers (literally, between two seas) is dry white wine produced in an area between Garonne and Dordogne river. The appellation is the largest in Bordeaux region and produces a large quantity of dry white wines which vary widely in quality. Its rolling hills make it one of the most beautiful as well.
Entre-Deux-Mers AOC applies only to the white wines made from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle. They are dry and crisp with citrus notes and hints of grassiness. Red wines produced here are sold as catch-all Bordeaux AOC or Bordeaux Supérieur AOC.

Tips: These fresh and fruity dry white wines are perfect match for oyster and shellfish or Sole Meuniére. They go well with frog legs as well, and like other whites from Bordeaux, Entre-Deux-Mers whites are versatile and pair with a wider range of foods.
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