Red wine blends have become very popular. There are several very popular and inexpensive red blends with catchy names on the grocery store shelves and on menus at restaurants. If you enjoy these red blends, let me introduce you to some that are even better. Much better.
Bordeaux, in France, is one of the greatest wine producing regions in the world. Its 60 appellations include two widely known regions referred to as the "Right Bank" and "Left Bank" depending on which side of the Dordogne River it is located.
Different dominant grapes used in each of its wines also define the two banks. In Bordeaux, the name of the game is red blends not varietals. So, it's the combination of the grapes, soil, and climate (terroir) that defines the wines.
In Bordeaux, wines do not identify the grapes used in their production on the label. Rather, it lists the appellation where the grapes are grown.
Each of the two banks of Bordeaux focuses on different grapes as their primary component. On the Right Bank, the dominant grape used in their red blends is Merlot, but they will also include Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank, the dominant grape is Cabernet Sauvignon but their blends also include Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenère.
The white blends of Bordeaux much rarer, but are predominately based on Sauvignon Blanc blended with smaller percentages of Semillion and sometimes Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris.
So, if you've found yourself tiring of some of the popular cheap American red blends, step up your game and give a Bordeaux a try. They aren't all expensive. You can actually find some great values from Bordeaux.
Next time we'll look at another famous region in France known for its blends - The Rhone Valley. Until then, Cheers!