Bordeaux

Not only is Bordeaux the most prestigious and well-known wine region of France, but it is also considered the best place for red wine in the world. White wine grown there is usually botrytized sweet dessert wine made from some combination of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon; the most well-known example of this style is the richly flavored, very expensive Sauternes. More than 85% of Bordeaux production, though, is now directed towards the reds that the region is known for.

Bordeaux reds usually use Cabernet Sauvignon, MerlotCabernet Franc, and a few other supplementary grapes. Since the 1600s, Bordeaux growers have been creating wines that combine power and finesse more seamlessly than any other red wine in the world, though Napa Valley contenders are considered very close in quality. Within Bordeaux, many subregions exist, the most prestigious of which is a small village called Pauillac. The best flavors can develop in bottle for decades. Bordeaux wines’ strong reputation for quality commands exclusively high prices, often ranging to well over $1,000, even for the new bottles of wine.