bordeaux etc Presents: Bordeaux 101

Following the rave reviews of the 2009 Bordeaux vintage and with the 2011 Bordeaux en primeurs kicking off, consumers will be facing a much wider selection of Bordeaux in Hong Kong. But how can they distinguish the passable from the premium?
Mathieu Pouchan, Chief Sommelier at bordeaux etc, shares his top five tips for Bordeaux beginners.

  1. Look for Location

Bordeaux wines are often referred to as being from either the left or the right bank. Left bank wines originate on the left bank of the Gironde river in the west and south of Bordeaux. These wines feature powerful aromas of dark fruit with a tannic rush of oak, smoke and spice from Cabernet Sauvignon.
Right bank wines originate on the right bank of the Gironde river in the northern region of Bordeaux. Since they contain a high proportion of Merlot, aromas such as baked plum, black cherry and baking flavours are more prominent.

  1. Appellation Foundation

In France, an appellation specifies the district where a wine’s grapes were grown. There are 60 appellations in Bordeaux, from the more generic Bordeaux AC to famous villages such as Pauillac or Saint-Emilion.
Wines carry certain characteristics depending on its appellation. For instance, Pauillac promises full-bodied wines, Saint-Estephe wines are more structured, and Margaux are distinguished by their elegant flavours.

  1. Bordeaux’s True Colours

Although Bordeaux is renowned for its reds, wine lovers will discover some excellent Bordeaux whites.  Fresh on the palate, these crisp Sauvignon- Blanc- based wines are best paired with seafood, fish and salads.

  1. Vintage Value

Before selecting a Bordeaux wine, first consider the year it was produced. Some of the best Bordeaux vintages include 1982, 2000, 2005 and the recently released 2009.  Customers can visit etc’s website for a detailed vintage chart, indicating the drinkability for a wide selection of wines (

  1. Climate Control

The serving temperature of a wine determines how expressive the nose will be. Bordeaux reds are best at 18 ºC, dry whites at 12ºC and sweet whites are at their ideal temperature at 10ºC.
bordeaux etc holds regular tasting classes specifically for beginners, intermediate drinkers to wine geeks. For details on upcoming classes and more fun facts, visit: .

Source = bordeaux etc
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