I have learned some things lately that might be common knowledge to Wine Geeks and experts, but to those just starting out on the wine journey I will share my new knowledge. Wine Geeks, let me know if I get any of this wrong.
First of all French wine labels are SO confusing! I suppose if I actually went there and drank lots of wine, learned the language, ate lots of cheese and pastries....and then had to go on a diet to lose the 300 pounds I gained in the process the labels would make more sense. Instead, I am just going to have to study harder and drink more wine....darn!
It is two weeks later and I have decided it isn't just French wine labels that are confusing. It is pretty much all the wine labels that are in a foreign language. Oh and if you really want to decider the code that is all the wine labeling laws...drink more wine, maybe eventually it will all make sense or you just won't care!
The most important thing to do if you decide to get into wine, is plan ahead and pay attention in Geography class! If you know where every village in France and Italy are, you will learn this stuff way faster.
Here is one for you new wine people, Bordeaux, is not a wine grape. You know how us Americans say I would like a glass of Cabernet or maybe Merlot...(I will NOT drink any Fucking Merlot! ). Yes I will...I digress. Those would be red wine grapes, well Bordeaux is a region in France where they grow Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, and Malbec for reds and the whites are Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. So when you order a "Bordeaux" it is really just a blend of two or more of those grapes.
Say you are a serving someone a red wine and it says it is a Meritage. First off it is pronounced to rhyme with Heritage, this word is a combination of the two words Merit and Heritage. Also meaning it is a blend of two or more wine grapes. So as you are serving this Meritage and think you have this wine thing under control now, some wine snob says " well what is the blend?" You tell them...Cabernet, Merlot and a touch of Cabernet Franc. Now you are very proud that you remembered to read the smaller label on the bottle ( that is actually the front label...whole other issue) , when the wine snob kinda snorts (at least it seems that way) and says "OH! Its a Bordeaux style blend." DUH! Yeah, true story....
Now I get it, any blend of any of the grapes grown in the Bordeaux region is a Bordeaux style blend. Now you can be the wine snob at your next dinner party, and say " We will be serving a Bordeaux Style wine to go with our Mac and Cheese..." HE HE HE!