Affordable French Bordeaux with Bison Burgers for #Winophiles

What to do for a mid-week meal that is easy, quick and affordable? How about Bison Burgers and Bordeaux Wine?

That’s what we decided to do recently on a school night when we wanted to have a quick dinner and then go see the new Avengers movie! Sue came over for a happy hour tasting, then Marsh cooked up the bison burgers with blue cheese to pair with two bottles of Bordeaux! Yum!

Many people assume that wine from a famous French region like Bordeaux is out of the budget. But no: here’s a region full of  reasonably priced wines. Mid-week you probably just want a glass or so and you can save the rest for later.

Our French Winophiles group each month explores a different aspect of French wine, food, travel, and culture.  Hosted by Michelle Williams of Rockin’ Red this month, we tasted wine from the Cotes de Bordeaux region that is budget minded.  To that end, I received the following wines as samples for my review consideration from Teuwen Communications that range in price from $12-25:

– Chateau Peybonhomme Les Tours Blanc Bonhomme 2016, Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux
– Chateau Lamothe de Haux 2015, Cadillac Cotes de Bordeau
– Chateau Pitray 2015, Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux 
– Chateau Carbonneau 2014, Sainte-Foy Cotes de Bordeaux
– Chateau La Rame La Charmille 2015, Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux

As you can see from the Infographic that Jill Barth created below, the six appellations of Côtes de Bordeaux are located on the right bank of the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers where 97% of the wine produced is RED and mainly comprised of Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec.

For this post, we tasted two wines from two appellations that were either 50% or 75% merlot; in a post to be published later, we will write about three more wines, two reds that are sustainable and going organic, and a white wine that is biodynamic in the context of the movement to organic and biodynamic wines in France based on what I learned at the recent International Biodynamic Conference in San Francisco.


2015 – Chateau de Pitray – Premier Vin – 14% alcohol SRP $15
2014 – Chateau Carbonneau – Classique – 13.5% alcohol  SRP $12 


Cheese Plate
Grilled corn
Oven fries
Buffalo burger sliders with blue cheese

The meal was super simple and we were able to hit the road and make their movie night commitment. While we do so many fancy complex meals, this was a perfectly simple meal. We kicked it up a notch with quality ingredients. Both wines were very complimentary to our mid week simple dinner.


2014 – Chateau Carbonneau – Classique – 13.5% alcohol SRP $12
AOC Sainte-Foy Côtes de Bordeaux
50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon

Jacquie and Wilfrid Franc de Ferrière moved back from New Zealand, where the family had settled, to the property in 1992. They slowly replanted the vineyard and built the winery.

Color: Rich, dense, brilliant

Nose: When first opening up this wine there is a musky quality to it; as it opens up there’s a green quality of celery seed and fresh cut grass.  After swirling, cigar box and cherry.

Palate: Clean, some mellow tannins, bright fruit, some earth and musk.

Paring: This is a wine that is so much better with food. It did fight the blue cheese a bit, but it was nice with the creamy gouda, very nice with toasted almonds. The green veggies were very mellow with the wine.

2015 – Chateau de Pitray – Premier Vin – 14% alcohol – SRP $15
AOC Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux
Blend: 75% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec

One of the oldest famlies to own vineyards in Bordeaux.Established in the XIVth century, Château Pitray is a 247-acre estate owned by the Simrad de Pitray family –

Color – translucent, garnet, on the purple side.

Nose: – cigar box, french oak, subtle cherry, husky musky aromas, very French

Palate: This is not a cocktail wine! Rich in tannins, there is a smokey richness that easily enhances foods. This wine is much more amazing with some strong blue cheese and great with the burger. The Toscano really made the wine sing.

This is a passionate wine that needs passionate food. Do not judge this wine until you have it with food. It is a completely different ballgame.By the end of the evening, this was our favorite of the two. It is definitely worth the extra $3!

Please join the #winophiles Côtes de Bordeaux chat on Saturday, May 19 at 11am EST on Twitter where we will discuss wine, food pairings, culture, and the region. All are welcome and encouraged to participate in the chat. Here is a list of the participant’s upcoming articles which will be live on Saturday, May 19.

Robin of Crushed Grape Chronicles shares “Côtes de Bordeaux pairings through Blaye, Cadillac & Castillon

Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla offers “Exploring the Côtes de Bordeaux with Simple, Salty, Spicy Nibbles

Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm shares “Celebrating the Warm Weather with Bordeaux

David from Cooking Chat brings us “Cheesy Beef Casserole with Wine from Côtes de Bordeaux

Nicole from Somm’s Table explores “2 oz Pours: 5 Nights of BDX

Martin from Enofylz Wine Blog offers “Côtes de Bordeaux: Your Go-To For Affordable, Approachable Bordeaux

Gwen from Wine Predator shares “Affordable French: Bordeaux and Burgers for #Winophiles

Rupal the Syrah Queen gives us “5 Reasons You Should Be Drinking Côtes de Bordeaux

Jill of L’Occasion offers a “Guide to the Wines of Côtes de Bordeaux

Lynn of Savor the Harvest shares “Côtes de Bordeaux: A Chateau Carsin Surprise

Jeff at FoodWineClick! shares “Drinking Tuesday Night Bordeaux

Liz Barrett of What’s In That Bottle helps us with “Get to Know Côtes de Bordeaux #Winophiles

Lauren from The Swirling Dervish offers “Côtes de Bordeaux: Why It Should Be on Your Wine Shopping List

Amber of Wine Travel Eats gives us “Salmanazar – Côtes de Bordeaux

Our host Michelle of Rockin Red will be sharing “Drinking Bordeaux in Blue Jeans”




16 thoughts on “Affordable French Bordeaux with Bison Burgers for #Winophiles

  1. Pingback: Côtes de Bordeaux: Why It Should Be on Your Wine Shopping List – The Swirling Dervish

  2. Pingback: 5 Reasons You Should Be Drinking Côtes de Bordeaux Wines

  3. Pingback: Drinking Tuesday Night Bordeaux #Winophiles | foodwineclick

  4. Pingback: Côtes de Bordeaux: Your Go-To For Affordable, Approachable Bordeaux #Winophiles – ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

  5. Pingback: Cheesy Beef Casserole with Wine from Côtes de Bordeaux #winophiles | Cooking Chat

  6. I want to know more about what you learned at the Biodynamic Conference! Have you posted about this? If so I need to look it up. I love the idea of elevated ingredients for a simple menu. The bison burger and blue cheese sounds perfect with the Castillon. I will be searching for this wine. I love the balance of Merlot, Cab Franc and Malbec,it sounds heavenly!

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