The CIVB wine bar (open from 11am through until 10pm) is a great place to start your wine holiday in Bordeaux (no booking just turn up). It is located opposite the Tourist Information not far from the Grand Theatre. There are a number of wine bars in Bordeaux since the last 10 years or so. This is probably the only one, being part of the Promotional Body of Bordeaux Wines (CIVB), that is solely Bordeaux focussed today (the young Bordelais have seemed to have found a new adventurous spirit and love tasting wines from around the globe!).
CIVB WINE BAR
I would suggest asking for tasting samples rather than glasses so you could taste more of the 20 or so appellations they have on offer. They are all divided up into groups on the list so easy to understand. Ask for a map and other documentation. 95% of the Bordeaux appellations are red (though always a blend of grape varieties in this fickle maritime climate – there are 6 allowed in order of importance: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Carmenère).
I would suggest starting with a dry white wine (3% production) mostly Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon (eg Entre Deux Mers, Graves, Blaye, Pessac Leognan) and then a red wine from the Right Bank (mostly Merlot eg Côtes de Bourg or Blaye, Fronsac, St Emilion, Pomerol, Castillon …) Contrast it with a Left Bank wine (mostly Cabernet Sauvignon eg Medoc, Haut Medoc, Moulis, Listrac, Margaux, St Julien, Pauillac…). The wines of the Graves also on the left Bank tend to be around half Cabernet Sauvignon and half Merlot so worth tasting too for another style.
Of course you need to end with a ‘sticky’ (2% production), one of the sweet wines of Bordeaux and there are many appellations to choose from (also made from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon but left to ripen late and be affected by the magical noble rot). They aslo serve cheese and charcuterie or mixed platters.