Bordeaux, the centre of the wine-shipping trade of France, is one of the chief commercial cities of the country. It lies on the Garonne River and it has a large natural harbour. England held Bordeaux for a time in the middle 1100's. Eleanor of Aquitaine brought the city as part of her dowry when she married the duke of Normandy, later Henry II. The French drove the English out in 1453. Bordeaux lies in the heart of the Aquitaine Basin, an area covered with vineyards. Bordeaux wines are well known because of their quality and because they are produced near.an ocean port and can be shipped easily. It is one of the most important France regions with Burgundy and Champagne. There are six main classes of wine. Wine producers base these classifications on commonly accepted ideas of when the wines are served. However, personal taste plays an important part in the enjoyment of wine and so the classifications are usually considered only a guide.
1) Appetizer wines: are usually served alone or with appetizers, before the main course of a meal. Their alcoholic content ranges from about 15 to 20%. The leading appetizer wines, vary in taste from sweet to dry (nonsweet). Wines called popwines may also be drunk alone or with appetizers. They have an alcoholic content of about 8 or 9 % and resemble soft drinks in taste.
2) Red table wines: most of these wines have a hearty flavour that complements such I main course dishes as red meats, game and highly seasoned food. These wines have an alcoholic content of from about 8 to 15% . Red table wines are served unchilled.
3) Rose (pink) wines: are considered all-purpose wines. They share some characteristics of both red and white table wines and can be used with any kind of food. They !ire served chilled.
4) White table wines: are generally served with delicate flavoured food as chicken and fish. These wines range in colour from pale to deep gold and vary in taste from sweet to extremely dry. They are served chilled.
5) Dessert wines: are sweet, rich wines that are often served alone or with desserts. They have an alcoholic content of from 15 to over 20% and are served unchilled.
6) Sparkling wines: bubble and sparkle because they contain carbon dioxide gas. They may be served with any food and are most often used to celebrate festive occasions. Sparkling wines have an alcoholic content of from 10 to 14% and are served chilled.