Text Size:-+

Bordeaux. The Anti-Millenial Wine?

Early in my stages of self-education on wine, I often said to myself, "I really don't see what all the fuss is about with Bordeaux." I had tasted quite a few lesser growths, and found them mostly unapproachable: tannic, tight, too mineral, or simply bad. Over the years, I gradually had a chance to taste both aged Bordeaux as well as some of the First Growths, and I began to understand the mystique. But to be perfectly honest, I've never had a Bordeaux that blew my socks off the way that some Burgundies have. I've yet to drink Petrus, however, but I don't think it's likely in my future. I don't know anyone rich enough to give me a sip.

Which is why I found myself nodding vigorously as I read Eric Asimov's latest piece in the New York Times, entitled "Bordeaux Loses Prestige Among Younger Wine Lovers."

Frankly, Bordeaux has a problem, which I can sum up as follows: there's not enough really good wine being made there, the really good stuff is so unbelievably expensive that it's out of reach for most people, and the affordable stuff that is good really isn't great without a number of years on it.

All of which is a bit of a non-starter for entry level, attention-deficit wine lovers just getting into things, and continues to be a barrier for people like me even if we do have the patience to cellar things.

You simply get more for your money a lot of other places, including Burgundy, the land of astronomical prices, where lesser wines please far more than their Bordeaux equivalents in my opinion. My main benchmark for this assessment is the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux tasting that I attend once every year or so. The First Growths don't show up, and only a couple of the Second Growths do, and the wines there on the whole aren't that great.

Now I do have some favorite Bordeaux wines, such as second growth Cos d'Estournel, but I'll tell you a dirty little secret: I've never owned a single bottle of the stuff, even though I could afford to. Whereas most of my favorite producers that I can afford from most every other region have been in my shopping cart at one time or another.

This is the crux of the matter: I can't really be bothered. And according to wine bar owner Paul Grieco, who is quoted on the matter in Asimov's piece: "If even one person came in and said, 'I want a glass of Bordeaux,' I might think I really have to serve a Bordeaux. But not one person has said that. Not one! That's pretty sad."


Read the full story.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Cold Snap Cincinnati Here I Come! Happy Thanksgiving from Vinography Vinography Unboxed: Week of November 23, 2014 Putting a Cork in Your Thanksgiving Wine Anxiety Plumbing the Depths of Portugal: A Tasting Journey Vinography Images: Rain at Last The Mysterious Art of Selling Direct Critical Consolidation in Wine What Has California Got Against Wineries?

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.