|Versatile Whites for casual family meals
If you love Sauvignon Blanc, you're in luck: It might not say it on the label, but nowadays white Bordeaux is most often primarily made with this popular grape. But unlike the lighter-than-air, ultra-citrusy whites you might expect from New World wineries, these wines can carry you comfortably from a meal's start to finish. They generally have some oak influence, so they'll have just enough weight to stand up to most roast poultry and pasta dishes.
Even if you don't know the name, odds are you've already tried wines from the high-production Entre-Deux-Mers region, a great place to look for affordable, delicious white wines. If you'd like to spend just a few dollars more, look at the whites of Graves and Pessac-Léognan for some incredible values.
If you're having meat cooked over fire, you want a wine to match your food's oomph. But the best barbecues have variety: pork, beef, sausages, maybe even chicken and grilled veggies. Your best bet? A medium-bodied, easy-drinking, crowd-pleasing red to quaff while you scarf. Head to your local wine shop and look for a recent vintage of a Bordeaux AOC red (or, if you're feeling just a little fancier, Bordeaux Superieur AOC). Your friends and your brats will thank you.
|Sun, Sand and Sipping
If you're looking to break out the plastic tumblers for a sun-drenched day at the shore, you have some great options. Perfectly chilled, the right Bordeaux blush can be more refreshing than any beer; think of those Corona ads, but viewed through rosé-colored glasses.
You may have noticed more and more of these in your local wine shops -- Bordeaux has been right alongside Chile and Argentina in offering delicious, surprisingly affordable bottles. Many Bordeaux regions produce rosé wines ranging from pale salmon to deeply-hued clairets. You'll find some to be lightly fruity with hints of ripe wild strawberry, and others densely flavorful.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.