A Local Society Devoted to Appreciating Fine Bordeaux Wines

Mandrin Twist Are you curious about the famous Bordeaux wines of France? Las Vegas has a social group devoted to learning about and sampling both the red and white wines from this famous wine-growing region. The nonprofit Commanderie de Bordeaux Las Vegas was formed in 2002 and is one of 35 chapters worldwide.

In Las Vegas, the Commanderie de Bordeaux meets six times a year. Each meeting is really a tasting with a theme and involves a sampling of wines from a specific year, called a vintage in the wine world, or from a specific Bordeaux region. In wine terms, a region like Pauillac or Margaux is known as an appellation and, in France, the right to use it is strictly controlled. Each tasting is paired with interesting food, which is especially selected to complement the complex flavors of the wine.

I recently attended a Las Vegas Commanderie de Bordeaux dinner, Pride of Your Cellar. Members and guests were invited to bring a bottle of their favorite Bordeaux to share with their fellow wine lovers. Like all chapter meetings, this was a very social event. After all, wine is a drink that is meant to be shared and these gatherings provide an ideal opportunity to share both wine and opinions. Dinners include an educational discussion of the wines and which foods pair best with them. Costs vary, depending on the restaurant, but the cost for past dinners ranged from $100 and up. With the interesting wines and delicious food, I had a great time, learned a good deal and can’t wait for the next one.

Le CirqueIf you’re thinking of checking it out, here is some background information. Bordeaux is the largest wine-growing region in France, producing an average of over 700 million bottles a year. Bordeaux wines range from vin ordinaire, or everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world. More than 8,400 producers, which are known as châteaux, are currently producing Bordeaux wines. Winemaking is so successful in the region because of its fortuitous geology. The limestone foundation creates a soil structure that is heavy in calcium and composed of gravel, sandy stone and clay. In fact, the most-prized wines are grown in the well-drained, gravelly soils near the Gironde River. There’s an old French adage that the best estates in Bordeaux can “see the river” from their vineyards.

Commanderie de Bordeaux in Las Vegas members appreciate these wines along with the history and tradition involved in creating them. I recently joined the club and I’ve been delighted by the variety of interesting people I’ve met. As a bonus, I now can actually pronounce the names of wines I’ve been enjoying for years. If you are interested in joining the Commanderie de Bordeaux in Las Vegas and don’t happen to know an existing member, an invitation as a guest can be arranged. It’s an affordable adventure for anyone interested in the fine wines of Bordeaux. For information about the next event, contact Richard Yukes at LasVegas1234@gmail.com or visit commanderiebordeauxlv.org.