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Bordeaux Wine Pairing: The French Way

bordeaux wine pairing with red wine, delicious meal and candle decors in a table

When you think about the best French wine varietals, your mind probably goes straight to the Bordeaux wine region – to a region rich in history, basked in sunlight, and renowned for their world-class wines.

The largest appellation wine producer in France, Bordeaux is home to 57 appellations and 38 sub-regions. Wine country in Bordeaux is split into two sides by the beautiful Gironde estuary, known as the Left and Right Banks. Each bank has a distinct terroir that yields different grapes, leading to a wide range of specialty wines.

The Left Bank is known for deep Cabernets, while the Right Bank is ideal for crafting the perfect bottle or Merlot. Additionally, we see white Bordeaux and Sauternes produced in the Left Bank.

A historical port city, Bordeaux’s coastal influence makes its way into every avenue of life, including cuisine. The area is famed for its seafood, with oysters and shellfish staples of nearly every menu. Additionally, Bordeaux’s iconic red meats and cheeses are classic parts of culinary culture, and these premier delicacies pair perfectly with the region’s many exquisite wine varietals.

Good food and wine bring out the best in each other, which is why it’s so crucial to pair exceptional wines well. Read on to learn everything that you need to know about crafting the perfect Bordeaux wine pairing.

Red Bordeaux wine with a bacon wrapped blue cheese bites

Red Bordeaux Pairings

A trademark of the Bordeaux wine region, red Bordeaux is revered for its savory depth of flavor. Villa Pereire’s Red Bordeaux comes from the low-lying gravely hills of the Garonne riverbanks in France with their sandy, pebbled soils. The small, concentrated berries that are produced add a gorgeous intensity to the Bordeaux’s flavor, offering notes of graphite, black currant, black cherry, and tobacco, supported by firm and balanced tannins.

Red Bordeaux can pair with a wide variety of dishes, but is best known for complementing rich, savory dishes. Here are a few of our favorite pairing options.

Steak and Rich Meats

We’ll begin with perhaps the most iconic red Bordeaux pairing: rich meats, particularly steak.

Red Bordeaux’s bitter nature is the perfect companion to a fatty, salty cut of meat. As pairing is all about bringing out the best in both the wine and the food, red Bordeaux is also ideal to serve with meat because the wine’s tannin breaks down the meat, releasing even more of the flavor than if you simply had the meat alone.

Steak and lamb are classic choices to serve with red Bordeaux, but leaner meats such as pork or duck are also good options.

Bacon-Wrapped Blue Cheese Bites (Good for a picnic or party, too!)

Looking for the perfect appetizer to serve with red Bordeaux at your next party or picnic? Consider a platter of bacon-wrapped blue cheese bites.

Red Bordeaux is a standard selection in France to pair with blue cheese as the strong, pungent flavor of the cheese can be easily countered with red Bordeaux, and the boldness of the cheese tends to smooth the wine, bringing out its best.

The addition of the bacon enhances the pairing all the more with its savory, salty flavor.


No pairing guide is complete without charcuterie, and red Bordeaux can certainly be a beautiful companion to good charcuterie – you just have to craft the right board.

The right charcuterie board for red Bordeaux wll be filled with hard, aged cheeses such as gouda and aged cheddar and rich, salty meats such as black truffle salami and pastrami. Additionally, rich, salty nuts can add great dimension to your charcuterie board, and work well for casual snacking.

Charcuterie boards are ideal for parties or picnics as they are perfect for entertaining. They allow guests to lightly graze while enjoying each other’s company and being able to experiment with different delicious pairings to discover their favorite meats and cheeses.

White Bordeaux Wine with 2 wine glasses in a table

White Bordeaux Pairings

When discussing Bordeaux wine pairings, one simply can’t leave out white Bordeaux. Unlike their savory, rich red counterparts, white Bordeaux wines tend to have a lighter, fresher flavor. Villa Pereire’s Bordeaux Blanc is known for its brilliant mineral and citrus notes, tied with supple, toasty oak complexity. Aromatic and intense, these wines originate in rocky, well-drained soils that allow the wine to develop a round, exotically fruit-filled scent.

While red Bordeaux pairs well with rich, savory foods, white Bordeaux is best served with classic Bordeaux seafood or fresh grilled vegetables and salads. Here are a few of our favorite options to serve with an exquisite bottle of Bordeaux Blanc.

Grilled Fish, Oysters, Shellfish, & Shrimp

Bordeaux’s coastal influence runs deep, and seafood is a classic staple of local cuisine. Some of the best oysters in the world can be found in Bordeaux, and grilled fish, shellfish, and shrimp are hallmarks of many Bordelais chefs’ repertoires.

The light, refreshing nature of white Bordeaux is the perfect companion to these dishes, as the wine accompanies the delicate flavor of seafood with grace and excellence. Its high acidity brightens the dishes’ flavor, bringing new life into an already-exceptional culinary delight.

Rich Seafood Rice Dishes & Seafood Stews

Building upon the influence of seafood in the cuisine of Bordeaux, we see many staple dishes of the area such as paella, risotto, bouillabaisse, crawfish boil, and etouffee that are made all the better by a glass of white Bordeaux.

These classic Bordelais comfort foods are warm and inviting, but still pair beautifully with a light white wine due to the wine’s acidity and brightness. The citrus influence of the wine lights up the flavor of seafood rice dishes and stews, while the dishes also bring out the woody, smoky nature that white Bordeaux can have.


Charcuterie is not exclusive to red wine! As we stated earlier, it’s all about crafting the right board – you can create a charcuterie board that pairs perfectly with white Bordeaux, or add in some elements to make sure the board pairs well with both red and white Bordeaux wines.

Unlike the strong, savory choices that make up a red Bordeaux wine’s charcuterie board, when building a charcuterie board that pairs well with white Bordeaux, it’s imperative to lean into softer, lighter flavors, even incorporating touches of sweetness.

Softer cheeses such as chevre, a goat cheese, are ideal for a charcuterie board centered around white Bordeaux. The goat cheese can be rolled in nuts, fruits, or both for an additional touch of flavor.

For other options, fill your board with crackers, additional soft cheeses, dried fruits, tomato slices, and nuts.

Red and White Bordeaux Wines with Desserts in a table as featured in Villa Pereire Wines blog

Dessert Bordeaux Pairings

Located on the Left Bank, the Graves region of Bordeaux produces Sauternes, an exceptional dessert wine known for its perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. Sauternes often has notes of apricot, mango, butterscotch, honeysuckle, citrus, ginger, and even caramel. It has an exceptionally high sugar content, and can easily be enjoyed as a dessert all on its own – but is even better when properly paired.

Caneles or Lightly Sweet Choux

Let’s start off with the basics: as a dessert wine, Sauternes is often served with traditional Bordeaux desserts.

Perhaps the most well-known dessert of Bordeaux, caneles are small, rich cakes with a caramelized exterior and a decadent custard interior. They generally are flavored with rum or vanilla, and can be topped with fruit or jam. Their rich sweetness paired with luxurious Sauternes is perfect for the wine aficionado with a sweet tooth.

If you want a delicious dessert pairing but don’t have the stomach for quite as intense of a sugar rush, Sauternes can also be served with a lightly sweet choux – more commonly known as a cream puff. While still sweet, choux are a bit more plain than the rich, caramelized canales, and would be considered a step down in regards to sugar intensity.

Slightly Spicy Pho or Pad Kee Mao

One might not initially think to pair a sweet wine like Sauternes with spicy food, but this unique pairing is exquisite in its own way – a pleasant surprise that catches you off guard for the better.

By pairing Sauternes with a slightly spicy Pho or Pad Kee Mao, the sweet and spicy flavors are able to contrast in a way that brings both to life beautifully. They simultaneously mellow each other out and highlight each other’s strengths, weaving together for a meal you’re sure not to forget.

Bordeaux Wine pairing with Lobster and sauternes fits as featured in Villa Pereire Wines blog


Sometimes, you just need a properly rich meal, and lobster and Sauternes fits the bill perfectly.

By pairing the already-decadent Sauternes with an equally decadent lobster dinner, you enhance the richness of both. The fresh seafood influence of Bordeaux culture is brought to the forefront and made all the better when enjoyed with a glass of their less prominent but incredibly exceptional Sauternes for a meal that will feel like the height of luxury.

White Bordeaux Wines as featured in Villa Pereire Wines blog

FAQs: Everything You Need to Know About Bordeaux Wine Pairing

Still unsure about how to craft the perfect Bordeaux wine pairing? Here are a few of our most frequently asked Bordeaux food wine pairing questions.

What’s the best food pairing for red Bordeaux?

Red Bordeaux pairs best with salty, fatty meats and hard aged cheeses.

What’s the best food pairing for white Bordeaux?

White Bordeaux pairs best with seafood, salads, or grilled vegetables.

What’s Bordelais cuisine like?

Bordelais cuisine is highly influenced by the area’s culture and history. A well-known historic port city, seafood is a staple of Bordelais cuisine. Iconic Bordeaux sauce finds its way into many dishes, particularly the region’s incredible meat dishes, and caneles and macarons are signature desserts of the area.

Red Bordeaux Wines with 2 wine glasses outdoor table as featured in Villa Pereire Wines blog

Villa Pereire’s Versatile Bordeaux Blends

The versatility and brightness of Villa Pereire wines highlights the best of Bordeaux blends, and makes crafting the perfect Bordeaux wine pairing easy. Brilliant in nature, Villa Pereire wines are clean and fresh in style, ready to add the perfect touch to your next meal, event, or everyday moment that needs a little extra magic.