Old Man Claret: Bordeaux at £10 – £15 per bottle

“The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” – Henry Miller

Why drink Bordeaux at £10-15? Many other wines stride in with hi-how-are-you blasts. At this price, there are many choices for a medium-bodied red wine from nearly every corner of the globe. That’s why some are asking, is Bordeaux even relevant anymore? Especially those looking for quick teenage kicks.

Many times, I have called Bordeaux in this price range Old Man Claret. Sometimes planky oak, sometimes contemptuous fruit. But a good bottle – and there are many good examples, especially from Listrac, Lussac St. Emilion, Graves and Cru Bourgeois, etc – are safe, reliable, well-made and good company. However, I will admit it often does not make me want to sing and dance on table tops.

What I like about it though, is it is more like going to dinner with a friend you’ve known for twenty years: there’s little need to always talk and constantly re-introduce yourself. If you are seriously interested in wine, a well-made claret at £10-15 is a good place to start a conversation in wine and all wine regions around the world. Partly because these are blends and styles that are often prototypes for winemakers everywhere.

Bordeaux is not sign-posted. But this also means it is a journey down a highway uncluttered by crap advertising (thankfully – you don’t want to go there when it has tried to market itself, cringe-inducing names such as Bad Boy Bordeaux is a case in point). Like most French wine, it expects you to make your own taste judgments and it won’t hold your hand. Sure, you’ll make mistakes. Especially at £10 per bottle. But even if sometimes the lows are low; what you learn make other wine-highs in the future, high. I’d almost go so far as to say, the only real way to understand Bordeaux is from life experience. It is certainly not a bad place to start a journey.

Image: Henry Miller

Link: More discussion on Bordeaux “Why is Bordeaux losing prestige among young consumers?”

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