Skip to main content

The beautiful Bordeaux blend

Bordeaux blend
Image used with permission by copyright holder
As many of you know, the world of wine is complex and can be difficult to navigate. You often find yourself asking a lot of questions. What differentiates a wine from Italy and France? What flavors should I look for in a white? What type of red wine is the best one for me?

That’s why we at The Manual like to take some time to simplify the wine world for you. Today we’ll be talking about Bordeaux and how you can find one of France’s most famous wines elsewhere in the world.

The history of Bordeaux wine is extensive, but basically all you have to know is that Bordeaux is perhaps the most popular and well-loved wine in the world. That comes mainly from the fact that the Bordeaux region of France is ideal for growing grapes. Between the calcium-rich soil and the Gulf Stream warmed air, grape vines flourish in the area.

Bordeaux is actually composed of a blend of a few different grape varietals. The main components are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. But you will also find Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Bordeaux is broken up into Left Bank and Right Bank wines, which refers to which side of the Gironde estuary (which cuts through the region) the wine was made on. Left Bank wines have more Cabernet Sauvignon, while Right Bank wines are dominated by Merlot. As long as a wine is made of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (and preferably one or two more of the grape varietals) it can be considered to be a “Bordeaux Blend.”

Related: Wines for Columbus Day

A wine like South Africa’s 2012 Mulderbosch Faithful Hound is one such Bordeaux Blend. It is made of 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Cabernet Franc, 21% Merlot, 13% Malbec and 10% Petit Verdot. This is an immensely satisfying wine upon the first sip—in fact, you may even be tempted to take a healthy tipple. Wines are usually described as having notes of various berries, but you can really taste a balanced fruit flavor to the Faithful Hound. There are definitely aspects of black cherry and even a bit of raspberry. It’s nothing too sweet, though. This is a wine that is meant to be quaffed and should be on hand at your next party.

The 2010 Avignonesi Desiderio is from Italy, so it is more in line with the “Old World” wine tradition of France. The Avignonesi would definitely be considered a Right Bank wine—it is made of an 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon blend. There is a stronger, certainly more alcoholic taste to the Avignonesi. It is, for a lack of a better word, a rich tasting wine. Aged in French oak barrels, the finish is smooth with just a bit of spice at the very end. The bottle’s label features a black and white illustration of a cow, which tells you all you need to know—this is a wine that would go great with steak or any other red meat.

There you have it: just a bit of wine education from your friends here at The Manual. You know have the knowledge of Bordeaux to show off at your next dinner party, on your next date or just at your local wine store when you want to prove that the guy behind the counter isn’t so smart.

Matt Domino
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Domino is a writer living in Brooklyn. His fiction has appeared in Slice and The Montreal Review, while his non-fiction…
From $350 to $1,399: The 5 best outdoor pizza ovens in 2024
ooni koda pizza oven review

Whether you're just starting on the craft of pizzas or you're a veteran who wants to make them in your backyard, you're going to want an outdoor pizza oven. If you have one, you can make your own delicious pizzas for your parties, and even try your hand at different recipes every night for your family's meals. However, with all of the options that you can shop, it may be overwhelming to narrow down your choices to the best outdoor pizza oven for you. To help you out, we've rounded up this list, with explanations on why we're going with these recommendations.

The major advantage of outdoor pizza ovens over traditional ovens is that they're capable of reaching higher temperatures in less time, which is necessary to get a perfectly cooked crust without burning the toppings. With an outdoor pizza oven, cooking will be done in a few minutes, for the ability to make pizzas pretty quickly so your family and friends won't wait for long. The best outdoor pizza ovens offer more than just this though, so if you're looking for something in particular, read on to find the cooking tool that you may have been looking for.
The best outdoor pizza ovens in 2024

Read more
Get creative: How to use hibiscus in your cocktails this spring
How to use hibiscus in cocktails
Alcoholic cocktail with pieces of fruit and berries in a bowl

Hibiscus is a great ingredient to incorporate into your cocktail game. Offering radiant color and a unique flavor, the flower is often converted to tea but also can be used as a syrup, lesser-known liqueur, soda, and more. And we especially like it in a good spring cocktail, as hibiscus is both floral and refreshing.

Why hibiscus in a cocktail? Because your mixology game could use a little creativity. There are enough boring cocktails out there made with the same old lineup of ingredients. Those are fine for regulars, but you're a budding cocktail artist.

Read more
This fan-favorite kitchen brand just launched a new espresso machine collection
We love these espresso machines from KitchenAid
KitchenAid Espresso machine

KitchenAid has been a mainstay in most American kitchens for over a hundred years now. With its time-honored, top-notch appliances that include everything from everyone's favorite stand mixer to ultra-chic and powerful dishwashers, this beloved brand has something for everyone. And while our kitchen countertops are likely already beautifully adorned with a plethora of KitchenAid assistants, it's time to make room for yet another must-have appliance from this illustrious brand.

For those of us who simply cannot begin the day without a perfectly crafted espresso, KitchenAid has gifted us with not just one, but an entire collection of absolutely stunning, fully automatic espresso machines.
The collection

Read more