Food & Wine | Bordeaux

  After a hard day skiing out on the slopes or escaping the icy city sidewalks, Bordeaux helps you unwind. Cabernet Sauvignon-rich Bordeaux from the Left Bank (that is, the region of Bordeaux west of the Gironde Estuary) lends its deep fruit and rich tannins to warm up even the most chilled core. Even their aromas hint at wintry warmth, brimming with spice, berries and cedar. In this case, look for wines from Saint-Julien.

Right Bank Bordeaux can be characterized in one word: velvet. Think of juicy red berries, plums, and currants as they smoothly unfold on your palate. These wines are typically Merlot-based blends and are sometimes accented by the notes of blackcurrant from meaty Cabernet Sauvignon, or the earthy whisper of Cabernet Franc. Seek St-Emilion or Pomerol if it's a special occasion. But for every palate and purse there are myriad bottles classified Bordeaux AOC, a spectacular range of delicious, affordably-priced wines comprised primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc (with up to 10-percent of Malbec and/or Petit Verdot).

  Toasting marshmallows in your home hearth? There's Bordeaux to complement fireside feasting. Sweet white wines from Bordeaux, with notes of honeyed peaches and apricots, match well with roasted, caramelized fruits. Even if your fire takes the form of cherries jubilee, Sauternes, Barsac, or sweet Graves helps kindle the flavor.

Of course, if you're lucky enough to head south for the winter and your fire is out on a tropical beach, there's Bordeaux for you, too. Cheerful clairets and cheeky rosés made from the same red grapes chill down nicely to keep you from overheating. With more body than white wines, these semi-reds provide refreshing acidity and a smattering of red fruits in a lighter form. So, there you have it: No matter how you weather the winter, there's Bordeaux to keep you content.