From century-long wars and changing crowns, to Dutch trading and the draining of the Medoc, there’s a lot to say about Bordeaux’s rise to the fine-wine region it is today. However, the official stamp of approval came in the form of the 1855 Wine Classification of Bordeaux, a ranked list of the region’s best wines according to the first five growths (crus) from the major châteaus of Bordeaux.

Gone were the days of claret and only claret. It was time for Château Lafite, Château Margaux, Château Latour, and Château Haut-Brion to define Bordeaux and the wine world at large.

On this episode of “Wine 101,” Keith breaks down how Bordeaux became the largest and most popular fine-wine region in the world with the help of Napoleon III. Tune in for more.

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“Wine 101” was produced, recorded, and edited by yours truly, Keith Beavers, at the VinePair headquarters in New York City. I want to give a big old shout-out to co-founders Adam Teeter and Josh Malin for creating VinePair. Big shout-out to Danielle Grinberg, the art director of VinePair, for creating the most awesome logo for this podcast. Also, Darby Cicci for the theme song. And I want to thank the entire VinePair staff for helping me learn something new every day. See you next week.

*Image retrieved from sablin via