Vin or vino?
The Bordeaux region of France and Spain’s La Rioja both produce some of Europe’s finest wine but which one is the best?
Bordeaux produces big robust reds that blend Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec grapes to make some of the most famous wines in the world. Chateau Margaux, for example, sells upwards of $1750 a bottle.
However if you drive across the Pyrenees Mountains into Spain you will find yourself tasting the vibrant young vanilla and fruit flavours of Rioja’s Temperanillo, Graciano and Garnacha grapes that have been blended in this region since Roman times.
The best thing about Bordeaux and Rioja is that they are so close to each other, drive from Bilbao and you’ll soon be saturated in wine heaven, meandering between both regions and deciding what suits you best, a Cafe in Saint-Emilion or Tapas in Logrono.
Although roughly 85% of the wine produced in both regions is red, there are other things you should try. Bordeaux is unbeatable when it comes to sweet wines, look for Barsac and Sauternes in particular, whereas the Spanish side of the border is the place to go for an excellent Rose; cold, crisp, strawberry-scented and delicious.