Bordeaux is the most famous wine region in history and the reference point for both red wines produced from Cabernet (on the left bank of the Gironde) and Merlot (on the right bank) and oaked whites made from Sauvignon Blanc (in Graves). The region is also noted for its specialty in sweet wines made in Sauternes and Barsac. It was the first wine region to be classified according to quality. The 1855 classification created five levels of wine among the most famous 60 chateaux at the time. More significantly, this remains essentially unchanged in the past 165 years despite huge changes in the industry and market for Bordeaux wine. Grilled meats are often topped with sauce bordelaise, which is made with red wine, marrow-based brown stock, shallots, and seasonings. Surprisingly, perhaps, given the dominance of red wine, there is a significant amount of seafood served in Bordeaux, including oysters from Arcachon. Lamprey eels cooked in red wine are also a specialty.


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