Bordeaux Wine: Getting To Know French Red Wine

French red wine is renowned worldwide for its exceptional quality, diversity, and complexity. With a long history dating back to ancient times, France is considered one of the world’s oldest and most prominent wine-producing countries. French red wine is made from a wide variety of grape varieties, each offering unique flavors, aromas, and characteristics that reflect the terroir and winemaking techniques used in different regions of the country.

French red wines are classified based on their quality and geographic origin, with the most famous classification systems being the Bordeaux Classification and the Burgundy Classification. Bordeaux red wines are typically blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, while Burgundy red wines are made exclusively from Pinot Noir grapes. Other notable French red wine regions include the Rhône Valley, Provence, Loire Valley, and Languedoc-Roussillon. 

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a casual drinker, getting to know French red wine is a journey that promises to be both exciting and rewarding. And, if you want to taste the best wine menu there is, you should definitely visit us at Stubborn Seed.

What Is Bordeaux

Bordeaux wine region is in southwestern France and is known for producing some of the world’s finest and most expensive wines. It is located on the banks of the Garonne River and its tributaries, covering an area of approximately 120,000 hectares. Bordeaux is known for its mild climate, which is ideal for growing grapevines and producing high-quality wines.

The Bordeaux wine region is divided into two main areas, namely the Right and Left Banks, which are further divided into smaller appellations. The Left Bank produces wines dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Right Bank produces wines dominated by Merlot. Some of the most famous appellations in Bordeaux include Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Margaux, and Saint-Julien.

Bordeaux wines are known for their complexity, depth, and aging potential. They are typically blends of several grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, with each grape having its own unique flavor and aroma profile. Bordeaux wines are also classified based on their quality and reputation, with the most famous classification being the 1855 Bordeaux Classification. This system ranks the wines into five categories based on their quality and reputation, with the highest category being Premier Cru Classé. Bordeaux wines are enjoyed worldwide and are considered by many to be the benchmark for quality wine.

Types of Bordeaux Wine

Bordeaux wines come in a wide range of styles and flavor profiles, making them some of the most versatile wines in the world. The different types of Bordeaux wine are largely determined by the grape varieties used in their production, as well as the specific terroir and winemaking techniques employed by each producer.

Red Bordeaux wine is the most famous type and is made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc grapes. These wines are characterized by their full-bodied texture, high tannins, and bold flavors of black fruit, tobacco, and spice. The Left Bank of Bordeaux produces more Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wines, while the Right Bank produces more Merlot-dominant wines.

White Bordeaux wine is made from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle grapes. These wines are typically light-bodied with high acidity and flavors of citrus, honey, and white flowers. They are often blended to balance flavors, with Sémillon adding body and richness to the wine and Sauvignon Blanc contributing acidity and freshness.

Sweet Bordeaux wine, also known as Sauternes, is made from Sémillon, Muscadelle grapes affected by botrytis cinerea, also known as “noble rot,” and Sauvignon Blanc. This fungus partially dehydrates the grapes, producing an intensely sweet and concentrated wine with honey, apricot, and caramel flavors.

Rosé Bordeaux wine is made from a blend of red and white grape varieties and is known for its pale pink color and light, refreshing flavor profile. These wines are typically made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and are perfect for pairing with a wide range of foods, including grilled seafood, salads, and light pasta dishes.

The Tasting Notes of Bordeaux Wine

Bordeaux wine-tasting notes are a way to describe and evaluate the flavors, aromas, and characteristics of the wine. When tasting this French red wine, there are several key factors to consider, such as the appearance, aroma, body, acidity, tannins, and finish.

In terms of appearance, Bordeaux red wines are typically deep in color with a ruby-red hue, while white wines are pale yellow with a greenish tint. Aromas in these wines can range from fruity and floral to earthy and spicy, with notes of blackcurrant, blackberry, vanilla, and tobacco being common in red wines, and citrus, white flowers, and honey being common in white wines. The body of a Bordeaux wine can range from light to full, with red wines generally being fuller-bodied than white wines. The acidity and tannins in the wine can also affect its taste. High acidity gives the wine a crisp and refreshing quality, and tannins contribute to its structure and aging potential. Finally, the finish of the wine refers to the aftertaste that lingers in the mouth after the wine has been swallowed and can range from short and simple to long and complex.

How To Serve Bordeaux

Serving Bordeaux wine is an art, and it is important to follow specific guidelines to bring out the wine’s full potential. The temperature, glassware, and food pairings all play a crucial role in enhancing the wine’s flavor and aroma.

The ideal serving temperature for this wine varies depending on the type of wine. Red Bordeaux wines should be served slightly below room temperature, between 60-65°F (15-18°C), while white ones should be served chilled, between 45-50°F (7-10°C). To achieve the perfect temperature, red wines can be chilled in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before serving, while white wines can be chilled for several hours.

The glassware used to serve Bordeaux wine is also essential, as it can affect the aroma and flavor of the wine. Wine glasses should have a tall, narrow bowl with a wide base, which allows the wine to breathe and develop its full aroma. The glass should also be clear and free of any designs or patterns that could interfere with the wine’s appearance or aroma.

Finally, this type of French wine is best enjoyed with food. It pairs well with rich, hearty dishes such as steak, lamb, and game, while white wines pair well with seafood, poultry, and light pasta dishes. Cheese is also a popular pairing with Bordeaux wine. Strong cheeses such as Roquefort and Gorgonzola complement red wines, and creamy cheeses such as Brie and Camembert complement white wines. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your Bordeaux wine is served at its best, allowing you to appreciate its unique flavor and complexity fully.


Visiting Stubborn Seed to try our exceptional wine menu is a must for wine enthusiasts and foodies alike. With a carefully curated selection of wines from around the world, including some of the finest Bordeaux wines, Stubborn Seed offers an unparalleled dining experience that is both sophisticated and approachable. The restaurant’s knowledgeable staff is on hand to guide guests through the wine list and make recommendations based on their preferences, ensuring that each guest finds the perfect wine to complement their meal.