Claret Or Bordeaux The Choice Is Yours

Claret is a term that is used almost exclusively in the United Kingdom. Coined from the Bordeaux Claret or Clairet which was the most common style of wine exported from the region until the eighteenth century, it has stuck around and become part of the English language. The French refuse to use this term, however, and Claret is what they call red Bordeaux in the UK nowadays.

Bordeaux is a region of France which has nearly 120,000 hectares of vineyards and produces over 700 million bottles of wine a year. It produces everyday wine, but is also synonymous with some of the greatest and most expensive wines in the world.

Both red and white wines are created in Bordeaux. The wines are generally made from a mixture of grapes. Reds are commonly made from: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet France, Petit Verdo and Malbec. Whites are produced from: Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle.

The Bordeaux region is divided into sub-regions and these are then organised into six main families which characterise the different types of wine produced here. There are four red and two white families, and for the purpose of this article we are going to concentrate on the ‘red regions’. The four regions are:

Red Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur

These are the cheapest wines which are fruity and are meant to be drunk young.

Red Cotes de Bordeaux

This is the hilly region on the outskirts. The wines are dominated by Merlot. None of the really famous growers are situated here and so the prices are really reasonable

Red Libourne or ‘Right Bank’ wines

These wines are produced, as the name suggests, around the city of Libourne. This area includes the appellations of Saint Emilion and Pomérol. Saint Emilion has an official classification. The classification system represents a historic judgement of excellence and is still an accurate guide to the best wines of the area. It is based on the performance of wines over the years.

Red Graves, Pauillac and Medoc or ‘Left Bank’ wines

This area is situated north and south of the city of Bordeaux. The wines produced here are concentrated and long lived, they are best kept in a cellar for a while before drinking. The Medocs, Pauiilac and the Graves have official classifications.

As you can see from these descriptions, Bordeaux wines range in style and taste. Add to this the historic classification system and the resulting progress made through long-running competition, and you are buying into some of the best wines available in the world.

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About The Author, Rahul Rungta
Fiona Muller has been writing for over 20 years. She is a qualified journalist and has worked in food and drink writing for the last few years. This information is freely available at