We know many people who think that, like champagne, Bordeaux wine has to be an expensive affair for grand dinners or kept locked up for years to age. The truth is that great values can be had for all types of wine, and Bordeaux is no exception. Over the next couple of days, we’ll be sharing three selections—a red, a rosé, and a dessert wine—from Today’s Bordeaux, a hand-picked selection of wines between $9 and $55.
A red Bordeaux blend is one of our favorite wines to have with dinner. We usually prefer more Cabernet Sauvignon-heavy Bordeaux, but the beauty of the blend is that there is something for everyone’s tastes.
This bottle, from Château Jean Faux, is a Bordeaux Supérieur, meaning the wine must be aged 12 months prior to releasing, and often times the grapes come from smaller parcels of land and older vines. The result is wine that can be enjoyed immediately, rather than waiting year after year for that bottle of Grand Cru to be just the right age. The price point—most Supérieur bottles can be had for under $20—means you can have them with an everyday dinner without worry.
We paired the Jean Faux with a meal from our slow cooker, another recent obsession in our house. Slow cookers have a bad reputation for being ugly and producing tasteless, mushy meals, but we’ve found the opposite to be true. Since being gifted an attractive slow cooker and buying a fabulous book—The French Slow Cooker—we’ve been cooking up cassoulets and other French-inspired dishes, perfect for pairing with Bordeaux.
For this meal, chicken legs simmered with Dijon mustard and fresh herbs, before being served over a bed of roasted Romanesco cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. If you don’t have a slow cooker, a long cook in a Dutch oven could also to the trick.
Chicken with Tarragon, Mustard, and Cream
Adapted from The French Slow Cooker
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 whole chicken legs, skin remove
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon, plus more for garnish
1/3 c. heavy cream
1. Pour the broth and vinegar into a large slow cooker.
2. Stir the mustard together with salt and pepper to taste. Brush the chicken all over with the seasoned mustard. Arrange the chicken pieces in the slow cooker, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle with the garlic, parsley, and tarragon.
3. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
4. Remove the chicken to a serving plate and cover to keep warm. Strain the pan juices into a saucepan and skim off the excess fat. Bring the juices to a simmer over high heat. Stir in the cream and return to a simmer. Taste for seasoning.
5. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with the chopped fresh herbs and serve hot.
Serve this with the green vegetable of your choice, although the cookbook’s author also recommends rice or noodles. A hearty meal like this calls for a hearty wine, making a red Bordeaux Supérieur a perfect (and economical) choice.
– Laura and Ryan
Thank you to The Bordeaux Wine Council for providing the wine for this series. As always, all opinions are our own.