Sadly, it is time to retire the Pimm’s for another year, but one thing that you can enjoy as the cold weather blows in is a good red wine by a roaring fire. Bordeaux in France is known for its extensive full-bodied reds, but there is a lot more to the region than just the heavy and often pricey bottles of red that we are used to.
“Bordeaux is a wide area, so there are lots of styles to choose from,” wine expert Wendy Narby of Insider Tasting says. “Bordeaux wines are primarily food wines, so perfect for eating and cooking with. They are mainly blends, therefore adding complexity with lots of flavours and taste sensations which perfectly match with food.”
A cheaper red can often seem a bit dicey, as young reds tend to contain too much tannin and can be quite astringent on the palate, but Wendy assures us that we can be confident in buying wines from this region.
“Despite what some people think, most Bordeaux wines, especially the (many) more affordable ones, tend to be Merlot-driven, which means they are very accessible in style – not too many tannins – so you don’t have to wait for years until they are ready to be savoured,” she says.
“If you prefer wines with lots of body, try a Bordeaux from the Médoc area. These wines have a higher percentage of Cabernet in their blend and are great with stronger-flavoured dishes such as steaks (claret and steak is a classic, but also roast game, as we are in the season).”
And the Bordeaux region isn’t just great for red wines, they have some lovely white wines to pair with that special dinner, too.
“If you really want to surprise, try a sweet white wine from Bordeaux with spicy dishes: the sweetness complements and calms down spicy food and is a great contrast to Asian dishes with ginger, lemon grass and saffron,” says Wendy.
“Smooth and fruit-driven, these wines are great not only by themselves, but also with chicken dishes, casseroles or tagines. Wines with a bit of age (five to seven years) start to develop truffle notes, therefore they go perfectly with mushrooms, either in meat sauces or stuffed into a vegetarian pasta dish.”
With such full-bodied wines to look forward to, we suddenly don’t feel so bad about the weather turning cold!
For further information on the wines of this region, visit www.bordeaux.com.
[picture credit: Oncle Tom]