In the world of wine, Bordeaux has been categorized in the “Unrealistic to Consume” category for quite some time. Château Lafite, Château Margaux, and St. Emilion….All wines that are snatched up en primeur and need a decade of waiting before it really is worth the money you paid for it. Maybe it's the 13 years I spent in financial services, but I am obsessed with value. I love finding the $30 bottle that drinks like an $80 bottle. Even better, I like finding a $12 bottle that drinks like a $30 bottle and with enough time will drink like an $80 bottle!
A decade ago, finding a $12 Bordeaux meant it was either a counterfeit, or a complete waste of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. Someone was putting table wine in a bottle and making up a label. It would be like buying a diamond engagement ring at Big Lots. It might technically be a diamond, but your future wife isn't going to be proudly displaying it to all her friends.
My, how times have changed. You now have access to a wide number of very affordable Bordeauxs. Hell, I can go to Cost Plus World Market and they have 3 or 4 of them all priced under $14. One is completely undrinkable. It is so bad I have expunged the very name from my recollection. The other 2 are pretty decent. I'm not going to open one of them on a wedding anniversary, but it's very drinkable after a lousy day at work, which means I can drink it every night if I so choose. Ha ha ha.
What makes a Bordeaux so spectacular? Velvety on the tongue, huge notes of fruits like plum, blackberry, cherry. People pick up leather, tobacco, earthy tones. I also find Bordeauxs evolve the most. That means the first experience through the last drop you'll often have almost two completely different wines. Decanting is a must, in my opinion, but I'd be curious to get some feedback on what it's like sticking a straw in the bottle and drinking it that way. My anal retentiveness prevents me from such a radical experiment. Hopefully, if you trust me and pick some up you'll see why I'm such an advocate of this region.
So, there you have it. Now you can live the caviar lifestyle on a flying fish roe budget. Enjoy the opportunity to experience wines that were reserved for people with a III or IV after their name and have spouses named “Muffy”. They've moved on to Burgundies, which are the most overrated wines in the world, in my opinion. But, that is for another topic... Drinking Like An Ass Clown.