French Bordeaux wines can be confusing to a newbie to wine. Here’s some key points.
Only 5 grapes can used in making red Bordeaux wine. They are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.
There are over 8000 wineries in Bordeaux! Yes more than 8000 wineries making French Bordeaux wines so keeping track of them can be a challenge.
In 1855 a classification was created ranking wineries from 1st to 5th basing their ranking upon the demand and prices commanded. There are 5 First Growths, 14 Second Growths, 14 Third Growths, 10 Fourth Growths and 18 Fifth Growth Bordeaux wine producers or Chateau. The wineries represented in these 61 make some of the best French Bordeaux wines produced today BUT there are many other very good producers offering wines at a fraction of the cost of the classified wineries.
In the shadow of the red wines of Bordeaux it must be noted that some of the best white wines in the world also come from Bordeaux. Based upon Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes that are often blended together to produce lively, balanced and exciting wines.