Exploring the Sweet Wines of Bordeaux

Sweet Wines of Bordeaux Jaclyn DeGiorgio 2021

Last fall, I had the opportunity to visit Bordeaux, which was a dream in and of itself. I’ll never forget flying over the Gironde Estuary and seeing it spill into the Atlantic Ocean. If I were seated on the other side of the plane,  I would have seen the waterway split into the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, where some of the world’s most expensive wines are made.

I was actually headed to the Entre-Deux-Mers. The name literally means “between two seas,” and it indicates the land between the two rivers. I stayed in the adorable town of Cadillac (yes, there’s a connection to the car, I’ll get to that later). From there, I had the opportunity to explore the territory and visit several wineries/chateaux that produce some excellent sweet wines of Bordeaux. These golden beauties are made from grapes that have been infected with botrytis aka noble rot and they’re just exquisite. Plus, they come at accessible price points that almost seem like a steal due to the high quality.

Sweet Wines of Bordeaux Fog Garonne
The mist rising off the Garonne River, which creates the perfect conditions for noble rot to thrive

The thing is, I’ve never been much of a fan of sweet wine with dessert. It can just be too cloying. And ya know what?  The winemakers agree, so we spent a lot of time pairing it with savory food and it was exquisite—especially with anything umami heavy. We even had a lunch cooked by a Japanese chef and it was just awesome.

Anyway, I wrote about the sweet wines of Bordeaux for USA Today’s 10 Best, and you can read all about them here.

Sweet Wines of Bordeaux Wine
Wine, wine, wine, all the time, time, time

And as for Cadillac? Once upon a time, there was an explorer named Antoine de la Mothe who was also a bit of a trickster.  He had visited the town of Cadillac and was so taken with it that he gave himself a title: Sieur de Cadillac. Louis XIV sent him to the, where he founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit, which went on to become Detroit, in 1701. There was a big statue of him in the city, and the owners decided to name Cadillac after him when they founded the automobile manufacturer in 1902,  they named it after him. In fact, the Cadillac crest is based on his coat of arms. Anyhoo, Cadillac was eventually acquired by General Motors in 1909.

On a personal note, I love France. I have a soft spot in my heart for Paris. I hadn’t been to France since July 2020 and was a little hesitant last year with Covid to book Paris or Nice, but I was so grateful for this trip because it brought me to a new destination in one of my favorite places.

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