Bordeaux’s – A good investment
by SÉverine Massengale

To some, the French are known for their somewhat superior attitude. When it comes to their rich history in making Bordeaux’s, they’ve earned that right.

The Bordeaux region is known for outstanding wines and is worthy of the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) designation which was established in 1855. Of all the AOC wines of France, 25% come from the Bordeaux region. While Bordeaux is synonymous with red wine, this is a misconception. Two of the five major areas are known for their excellent white wines. Until 1970, Bordeaux produced more white than red wine. Today 84% of Bordeaux wine is red and 16% is white.

When purchasing Bordeaux’s, consider if you want to drink it now or if you want to age it; where the grapes are grown (region); the age of the vines (the older the vine the better/ more expensive the wine); the yield of the vines (lower yield = higher quality) and vintage. Remember that red wines of Bordeaux are a blend – are you looking for a Cabernet or Merlot Style?

There are three quality levels of Bordeaux wines:

Bordeaux: lowest level of the AOC; inexpensive ready to drink wines. An example is Mouton-Cadet.

Bordeaux + Region: these wines come from one of the 57 different regions, only grapes and wines made in those areas can be called by their regional names. These wines are more expensive than those simply labeled Bordeaux.

Bordeaux + Region + Château: these are the products of individual vineyards and are the highest quality and cost. There are more than 7,000 châteaus in Bordeaux. Grand Cru Classé is the most expensive.

If you have the money to invest, purchase from a great château in a great vintage, these wines need a minimum of ten years to age and tend to be the most expensive. If you want a less expensive wine that you can age for a shorter period of time, look for lesser vintages from great chateaus from a different region. Regardless of the price, if the wine isn’t stored properly it isn’t worth a dime! Fortunately, Bordeaux is not only known for its history but for its variety and can please not only the palate but the pocket book.


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