We ought to banish preconceived notions in all areas of life, especially wine. You’ve probably heard a lot about how Bordeaux’s late harvest wines should be consumed. I implore you to throw it all out the window, and listen here to the learnings of our most recent tasting. Renowned Master of Wine Mary Gorman-McAdams walked us through a selection of eight Golden Bordeaux wines across several appellations and vintages – including dearly beloved Sauternes. While many of us already understand the possibilities of Golden Bordeaux, a large number of wine drinkers in the United States are uninitiated.

Join us on our journey to spread the #GoGoldenBordeaux message. Grab a few bottles for your holiday table and trot out some of our impressive pairings – from appetizers to third courses and beyond. Golden Bordeaux is a common party wine in France, after all.

Golden Bordeaux wines come in half-bottle sizes, and they last for months or more in your fridge. These are uniquely colored, complex, layered and rich late-harvest wines that start conversations. Click here to watch the full tasting.  Read on for more details.The Golden Bordeaux appellations are located on the left and right banks of the Garonne River. The nearby pine forests, in combination with the river, create the famed “morning mists” – tufts of humidity that enrobe the region’s Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes.

The mist clears, and piping hot sunshine dries out the grapes. The conditions allow friendly spores known as Botrytis Cinerea to develop on the grapes. This is the beginning of the hallowed Noble Rot process.

The spores enter the grapes without breaking skins – rather, the skins become permeable. We watch the grapes shrivel and change color, as something otherworldly happens just inside. Botrytis concentrates flavors inside the berry while creating brand new ones. Noble Rot brings an unmatched intensity and richness that cannot be replicated.

Golden Bordeaux harvest is a slow and manual process. Botrytis patterns are unpredictable – it comes in waves, within the same bunch. Each grape is individually assessed and picked.

How to Enjoy Golden Bordeaux Wines

The fruit flavors in a Golden Bordeaux wine range from exotic stone to orange and lemon citrus.  You will find savory undercurrents, too – beds of mushrooms covered in dark soil. The wines age beautifully, revealing butterscotch, cream and vanilla notes. Hints of leather and saline, too.

There are three things to look for in a dish when pairing Golden Bordeaux: spice, salt, and richness. Here are a few examples that fit into one or more of the three categories:

Root Vegetables

Caramelize them in the oven, then douse in salt and pepper.  

Spiced Nuts

Use hot or cool spices. Toss them in a salad along with golden raisins for a perfect holiday pairing.

Stuff it with Jalapeño

Bring on the heat! Stuff Jalapeño inside olives, mushrooms, or even a chicken breast to create an environment suitable for Golden Bordeaux.

Perfect Pork

Slather it with apricot jelly or coat in cayenne. Golden Bordeaux is a great fit for main course pork dishes.

Bring on the Beef

Cover your sliders in a Bavarian-style mustard. Lay out a platter of sweet and spicy jerky.


Virtual Tasting Wines and Pairings from Mary

Try one or some of these selections. Mary’s supreme pairings are sure to inspire your own.  

Chateau Manos Cadillac 2016

Mary’s pairing: Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Chateau Loupiac-Gaudiet 2016

Mary's Pairing: Green Papaya Salad with Beef

Château la Rame Sainte Croix du Mont 2015

Mary’s pairing: BLT Sandwich with Spicy Avocado

Chateau du Cros Loupiac 2014

Mary’s pairing: Jumbo Lump Crab Gratin with Bay Seasoning

Chateau Dauphine Rondillon Loupiac 2011

Mary’s pairing: Mexican Pozole - fish stew

Chateau Lapinesse Sauternes 2016

Mary’s pairing: Roasted Oysters with Bone Marrow and Chili Butter

Chateau Filhot Sauternes 2015

Mary’s pairing: Seared scallops with coconut lemongrass sauce

Castelnau de Suduiraut Sauternes 2006

Mary’s pairing: Grilled lobster with lemon paprika butter

Watch the full virtual tasting here.