Bordeaux Book Sip by Sip by Nicolle Croft

  • aussi disponible en Français ‘Bordeaux Pas à Pas’ (Mollat, Fnac, Amazon)
  • a personal story over 30 years, wine guide to visiting what is important in the region and finding good value in this exceptional wine terroir.
Gail Barnett Copyright

Bordeaux Sip by Sip – a book to savour

This new book recounts the story of a young British girl, Nicolle Croft, who after studying wine in her native country of England set off to discover the vineyards, wine business and wines of Bordeaux in her 2CV car. This was 1990. Thirty years on, this book is a synthesis of what she has learned over the years based in Bordeaux as a wine guide and professional taster – particularly how to find good value wines in this vast famous wine region.

“Its been 30 years since I arrived on the quayside in Bordeaux city, weary from my travels in this funny tin can of a car (a 2CV) leaving behind all familiar in my native England and confronting a foreign city and its foreign language. I was to be a wine stagiaire (intern) in a famous wine merchant house of Sichel known for its Margaux wines Château Palmer and Angludet, and run by its charismatic director, Peter Sichel.

Well here is my story, 30 years on, in a wine guide book on Bordeaux. I am not the same girl, and nor is Bordeaux (we’ve had our ups and downs along the way) – but we’ve never been better. The châteaux of Bordeaux, once only the territory of the wine trade, has become more accessible to visitors. Today they are welcomed behind the scenes to see how the grapes step by step become the wine which is ready to be bottled 2 years down the line.

Bordeaux, most famous for its expensive Grand Cru Classé wines, is today the source of many great value wines as the attention to the vines and winemaking has become more precise. Global warming has helped too. I would say that the stars to be found today in Bordeaux are within the 10 to 20€ bracket. Most of these are produced by the stars of Bordeaux, what I call the SIPS – the Small Independent Producers. Many of these properties lie just on the wrong side of a famous border or missed being classified (Grand Cru Classé)  or happen to be located in one of the 65 appellations that is not considered trendy, or in the shadow of a neighbouring appellation that is! Many are as good as their famous neighbours but not the same price. This book explains how to find them amongst the 7000 châteaux of Bordeaux and lists the names in each appellation of the treasures that I have discovered over my time here.

I have tried to include the answers to all the questions I have been asked over the years in a light fun hopefully informative way. My idea was that the book could be read, or flicked through to make this complex subject easy to learn about with plenty of graphic photos, captions, tips, anecdotes, glossaries…”

Some Key areas include; what makes Bordeaux special, its history, how to decipher a label, vintage variation, its classification system, key regions, lesser known regions, how best to buy Bordeaux wines, finding value in Bordeaux, grape varieties, key terms in the vinegrowing, winemaking, barrel ageing. There is a chapter on Wine Touring with lots of tips on how best to go about it and an off the beaten track section. The last chapter is about getting the best out of the wine you buy regarding storing, how to put together a cellar, what happens when a wine ages, serving, ordering wine in a restaurant, how to match with foods to bring out the best in both, and finishes with Bordeaux food specialities.

Merlot vine leaves (Gail Barnett photography)
St Emilion (Gail Barnett Copyright)

Nicolle Croft (Philippe Roy Copyright)

To Order your signed copy;

Please pay using paypal in euros as below using this email  and including your address

Prices include Postage and Packing:

25€ to the USA, Australia and other international destinations per book

25€  to the UK per book – it is possible to do a transfer in pounds to a UK bank account – contact me for details

21€ in France per book


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