There’s just something inviting about a Bordeaux blend. Maybe it’s the rich, full-bodied, hefty sensation of blackberry and black cherry flavors with notes of spices, chocolate and vanilla. It might be the way they complement dishes that contain game, venison or pheasant. There’s no doubt that a Bordeaux blend is the classic example of a great wine. A true French Bordeaux blend requires the combination of two or more specific grapes, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Gros Verdot, Petite Verdot and St. Macaire. There is also such a thing as a white Bordeaux blend which contains Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes.
Here in the United States, we have historically referred to such Bordeaux blends as “Meritage,” providing they meet certain varietal requirements. In the late 1980’s, a few American (Californian) vintners coined the “Meritage” name to circumvent varietal labeling requirements and increase market share. The name itself was actually a blend of two words, Merit and Heritage. Meritage quickly became associated with an exceptional, high quality blended wine and not your generic, everyday, red table wine.
So, if you’re shuffling through the wine store seeking out a deep, rich wine, the odds are pretty good that a Meritage, or even better, a French Bordeaux will not only meet, but exceed your expectations.
Annette Solomon, CS