Bordeaux vs. Burgundy: What’s the Difference?

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Imagine yourself at a high-profile event. On the table, you have these two dazzling legendary wine bottles – Bordeaux and Burgundy, but you are lost in a maze. Why?

You aren’t sure which would send the most refine and sweet taste you do crave for. You look around; others have no hassle opening, and yes you sense they know better.

You would ask them, but you aren’t prepared to sound archaic or old-fashioned; you want to look like an experienced wine drinker, one filled with the knowledge of taste diversity, bottle superiority and region classification. You give a deep sigh (loud enough to be heard)

Buddy, come back! It’s okay that it’s only an imagination. Before reality sets in, you need this piece ( a better way at handling the situation) for accomplishing an informed decision.

For a fact, if you are new to French wine but have mad cravings, such a deep one for Bordeaux and Burgundy, you are set for a wonderful wine adventure.

Simply defined, Bordeaux and Burgundy are regions in France, and yes, these terms, Bordeaux, and Burgundy, can aptly relate to wines from these regions. Got it?

Worthy of note is that I’m not bent on educating you on several regions of wine in this piece. At the very least, I’ve revealed where the two wines emerge from.

As an experienced wine writer and drinker, I can tell you that both wines, Bordeaux and Burgundy, have an immeasurable offer to you as a wine lover, and for generations, its been discussed between these drinks as to which would give drinkers the better experience.

I remember in 2010, Jasper Morris in his work, titled “Inside Burgundy” said: Burgundy merely is for folks with the passion for being intrigued by a bottle of wine with no certainty in a glass.

Not so very long after that, the comment from François Mauriac places Bordeaux in a lofty position, by saying that Bordeaux’s superiority streams from its naturalness, with closing remarks that its virtue is honesty.

You see the rival, the Cold War from these illuminating wine regions – Bordeaux and Burgundy!

Because this battle has divided many wine critics, consumers, and in fact, wine lovers, one can really get lost in it all. This piece isn’t composed to dub one the best and the other inferior, yet, for your every need, I’ll highlight the differences in these legendary rivals, and from the analysis, you would no doubt be able to pick your style and favorite.

Differences Between Bordeaux And Burgundy

The Flavor Profile

What’s the difference between these Iconic French wines when it comes to the flavor profile they have? Four of the common types from Bordeaux and Burgundy will reveal the truth.

Firstly, Red Bordeaux. This wine has plum, blackberry and cassis flavor and aroma. The Tannin levels range from High to medium. The intense flavor and Tannins account for the high aging potential. In its very young set, fresh state, it can be green and difficult to drink.

Red Burgundy. Unlike Red Bordeaux, Burgundy has a cherry savor and aroma. It’s produced with an earthy character, with light to very low Tannins, it also has low – medium body as well. When comparing acidity with red Bordeaux, red Burgundy ranks higher. Over time, red Burgundy can transform into a choking barnyard flavor, and it goes well with some folks.

White Bordeaux – The Dry one. This type has apricot and sweet savor. At the young state, it offers crispy character. Over time it becomes nutty and honeyed as long as 30 years or more.

White Burgundy. This type offers crisp acidity level. For cooler appellation, it has citrus and fresh apple aromas. Due to its limestone soil, it has an excellent flinty character.

More: Cabernet vs Merlot

The Geography And Climate

In the real sense, many of the rivals between these great wines emanate from a glaring point, the location.

In the east of France, Burgundy finds a comfort zone in the midst of a tranquil medieval village and impressive hills. Although, Burgundian winemakers bitterly complain about weather conditions, for example, hails and frost have the potential of damaging the vines and will sporadically reduce yield whenever they occur.

Besides, the rainy autumn is also there to be wrestled by producers as it has the potential of diluting the grapes, hence reducing the quality.

Another Shaping factor for Burgundy’s fine wine is the soil from which it came from. Till today, nearly all Burgundian Vineyards are situated on Limestone. These are responsible for the flinty zesty character possessed by this type of wine.

Little wonder, soil composition, and orientation are the criteria on which the authentic Burgundy wine are awarded Grand Premier.

Bordeaux has its unique characteristics. It has so many port cities with an amazingly large number of attractive, pleasant edifices. The Atlantic Ocean, which this region has straight access to, plays a part in the success of this great wine.

In keeping the temperature moderate, protecting the vines from excess cold and heat, credit goes to the Atlantic Ocean and the availability of Garonne and Doggone Rivers, which lead their way into the Gironde Estuary.

Nonetheless, the humidity level is so high that it can pose to the grape the threat of rot and disease. Also, yearly grapes are subjected to significant weather condition.

Regardless of that, Bordeaux enjoys a unique gift, and it allows the production of wines from grapes with noble rot, with a result of sweet wine.

Final Comments

Although, some folks claim that Bordeaux is a beginner’s French wine, yet it’s not out of place to find great value in Bordeaux. Undoubtedly, Bordeaux is approachable for those on the lookout for wines that can get them a terroir effect.

On the other hand, Burgundy though expensive, offers taste and flavor that’s second to none on the planet.

Now, which should you go for? I’d say, it’s excellent you try both if you’ve never tried any. The savor and feel won’t leave you disappointed. They hold incredible finesse, so you need not to worry.

Looking for the winner here? Remember I told you I wouldn’t choose? Fine. But know this, these two wines have so much to offer, regardless of the function, each holds to its value. The price shouldn’t send you off. Just enjoy the drinks made for you, your friends, and family.


I am a blogger turned Wine Enthusiast, Who loves to try new things and this is my blog.

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