Perhaps unsurprisingly, the US west coast is not a great place for Bordeaux – although Ungrafted in San Francisco has ‘a mix of classic heavyweights from Burgundy and Bordeaux’ – with far better options to be found on the east coast.
It was, perhaps, inevitable that the sophisticated eateries of New York should appeal to an equally sophisticated audience of Bordeaux aficionados.
The city’s swanky Michelin-starred joints have exemplary listings of top bottles, but if you’re after both character and reasonable value, head for either Racines NY or Terroir Wine Bar. Both are relatively informal places with lists where big names rub shoulders with boutique offerings, and knowledgeable, enthusiastic front-of-house teams can help you navigate to a suitable choice.
In particular, Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa, Florida, has a mind-blowingly extensive cellarful of Bordeaux. More than 25 pages of its wine list are dedicated to the region, and you’re almost guaranteed to find several vintages from your favourite châteaux.
The Pappas Bros chain of dry-aged steakhouses in Texas has a bijou assortment of Bordeaux whites, but reds are the big draw, as you might expect. Wines listed on 15 pages name-check the top end (an imperial of Château Lafite 1961 is on for $58,000), but there are also some undervalued bottlings too (Château Bellegrave, Pauillac 2015, $80).
Down in the deep South, the French heritage of New Orleans is reflected in the 100 or so Bordeaux bins that are offered at the iconic Brennan’s. There’s some great bottle age on this list, but given that most of the wines are from Bordeaux’s top properties, the prices aren’t cheap.
Doris Metropolitan might be a better venue for bargain hunters; Château Palmer, Margaux 3CC 2006 is good value at $395.