One of the best known wine regions is Bordeaux. If it were a fashion label it might be Margaret Howell: masculine, restrained, aloof and timeless. However, despite its burly, expensive reputation, this classic red wine area, known for famous names like Margaux, Pomerol and Petrus also makes excellent, affordable rosé wine too.
Bordeaux rosé comes in many styles, from the traditional dark Clairet to fashionably pale Provence-style and delicate. The grapes in Bordeaux rosé are the same as used for the red wines – cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot – giving great structure and food matching potential. Bordeaux rosés go particularly well with summer salads and lighter supper dishes.
Two current recommendations of high quality rosés are Clarendelle £13 approx – available from smart central London wine shop Hedonism and Mirambeau £10 approx – from UK merchant Tanners. Sainsburys also has a Bordeaux rosé £6-£8 approx. (often on deal and usually in the chiller in Local branches).
Bordeaux has recently undergone a massive re-generation, still developing in trendy, historic quarter St. Michel and is now a chic destination for wine lovers and anyone who enjoys cool bars, smart shopping and fantastic French food. Capucins Market is a must visit for foodies.
Recommended places to stay include gorgeous tourist house Maison Fredon in the ‘rue gourmande’ Porte de la Monnaie, also home to the fantastic restaurant La Tupina, owned by the lovely Jean-Pierre Xiradakis, restaurateur and author. TV chef Rick Stein recently ate here, shown in the Bordeaux episode of his Long Weekends series.
New wave wine shops and bars include La CUV, La Ligne Rouge and seafood paradise, fitted out in groovy beach-style decor, Le Rince Doigts. Patisserie porn nirvana can be found at Antoine and cheese heaven at Deruelle.
Bordeaux is a very easy place to visit from the UK, with EasyJet, Ryanair, BA and AirFrance flying direct to Merignac airport. The airport is just 10 minutes from the city centre. You can also take the train – Eurostar from London, St Pancras to Paris then connecting train to Bordeaux. From 2017, the high speed TGV will take just 2 hours from Paris.
Photos: Jenny Mackenzie