While the Bordeaux area in France is well-regarded for its red blends, it may surprise some to hear that the region is also responsible for creating some truly excellent white blends. The suitably named White Bordeaux is one of the best kept secrets of the white wine world.
White Bordeaux is primarily a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, and Muscadelle. The resulting blend is an excellent option for those looking for high-quality dry, white wines at a reasonable price.
Depending on the bottle, White Bordeaux is either sweet and fruity, or rich and creamy. The sweeter bottles tend to be more affordable and easier to acquire, while the rich and creamy options are more sought out and consequently more expensive.
Fruity White Bordeaux tends to have strong, tart citrusy flavors. Expect to taste grapefruit and lime as well as gooseberries. Less overt, but still noticeable is the taste of grass, honey, passionfruit, and jasmine.
If you can find a bottle of White Bordeaux from the Pessac-Leognan region, expect a completely different taste experience. These rich and creamy Bordeauxs have an almost oily texture and and almost dessert-like flavour profile. Expect strong flavors of baked apple, lemon curd, and creme brûlée. Less overt are hints of ginger, chamomile, and citrus zest.
Thanks to the citrus flavours, particularly in the sweeter bottles, White Bordeaux pairs very well with any food that contains lime or lemon. Also, as with many whites it pairs well with fish, making it an ideal bottle to crap open with some whole grilled fish and lemon. The wine also pairs well with various shellfish so feel free to try it with lobster or crab.
White Bordeaux also pairs well with basil, making it a great companion to pasta with pesto. Also try it with other green vegetables and leaves like arugula or asparagus.
When it comes to cheese, you can’t go wrong with a good goats milk offering paired with a good bottle of Bordeaux.
Wines to try
Chateau Marjosse Blanc ($13)
A great no-nonsense bottle of tasty White Bordeaux. Crisp, clean, and light.
Château Graville-Lacoste ($16)
An extremely pleasant bottle. This wine is crisp, tangy, and has a pleasing fruity taste.
Chateau Sainte-Marie Vieilles Vignes ($9)
Refreshing and acidic, this super-affordable bottle is a great introduction to those wanting to try out White Bordeaux.