Great Foods to Pair with Bordeaux Wines
Bordeaux is a region with great examples of both red and white wines though its whites are often overshadowed by the reds, known generally by English-speakers as “clarets”. Bordeaux wines – red and white varieties – give some of the classic wine/food pairings in French cuisine and there should be something to suit all tastes.
There are two main types of Bordeaux red. In the Medoc and Graves regions most claret is made from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape; in St Emilion and Pomerol the predominant grape variety is the Merlot. However, both types have a characteristic fruitiness, in particular blackcurrants and should be drunk quite young (the wine not the drinkers!).
Dishes that go really well with Bordeaux reds are robust meat dishes especially beef and lamb. There are several dishes that are heavily based on the inclusion of a good slug of Bordeaux too such as “boeuf Bourguignon” or “coq au vin” (literally chicken cooked in wine). It’s not just the diners that benefit from the grapes: it is claimed that snails (escargots) from this part of France taste so good because they feast on the grape leaves. Remember that when you tuck into a starter of snails with a glass of good Bordeaux. Other classics such as “steak tartare” and “tournedos chasseur” are also a good match for a delicious Bordeaux. Best of all is the renowned dish from that region “entrecote marchand de vin” which consists of a rib steak that is cooked in a rich gravy made from red Bordeaux wine.
Camembert, Brie and Roquefort are regarded as good mates for Bordeaux because the the strong cheese balances the tannins in the wine.
Moving onto whites and it is the sweet wines that take over the spotlight with the most obvious being Sauternes which is the ultimate pairing with foie gras, though it is equally as good with desserts. The intense sweetness of Sauternes complements rather than overpowers sweet dishes and so is regarded as the best option since puddings can be notoriously difficult to pair with wine.
It is not all sweet wines, though, when it comes to Bordeaux whites; there are some lesser known but none the less very good dry whites from the region and these tend to be served with seafood dishes on Bordeaux’s Atlantic coast.
With variety like that it’s not hard to see why this region is synonymous with great cuisine and equally good wines.