Starters and salads

Can’t think of what goes with that potato, tuna, or chicken salad? Two words: white Bordeaux. Predominately made with Sauvignon Blanc, this wine usually has a little more weight than its New World or northern French counterparts due to some oak influence (and perhaps a hint – or more – of Sémillon). It has the weight to stand up to the creaminess of mayonnaise, but is still light enough to complement other salads and side dishes, like pasta salad or roasted vegetables.

Main Dishes, from Casseroles to Pot Roasts

Casseroles are synonymous to potlucks, and Bordeaux a natural pairing. They balance well with reds from Bordeaux AOC. Medium-bodied and dry, these reds showcase plum-like fruit, a smooth texture, and a slight chewiness that can match the richness of your grandmother's baked pasta or friend's beef casserole recipe. Nothing feels more like home than comfort food and an easy red wine.

If your shindig is more filet mignon than flank steak, spend a few more dollars for Bordeaux Supérieur AOC. If you're looking to upgrade further (say, from choice to prime), consider reds from the Right Bank appellations, like Pomerol or St-Emilion, to experience the hedonistic richness of velvet, red berries and currants that can carry you through past the charming dinner conversation. Whichever you choose, your guests will be glad you picked Bordeaux.

Pies, cakes, and cookies, oh my!

To match the assortment of shareable desserts that potlucks bring forth, Bordeaux provides delectable, sweet wines made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle. Of course, while you can spend hundreds of dollars for Château d'Yquem, many producers make affordable dessert wine options, with luscious flavors of honeyed apricots and subtle botrytis notes. While Sauternes may be the most famous, keep an eye out for sweet wines from Barsac as well – both are located in Graves. Fruit tarts and sugar cookies would be a pleasure paired with sweet Bordeaux.