James Beard nominee Michael Madrigale gives his picks for cheap and cheerful Bordeaux

I think a lot of people associate wines from France’s Bordeaux region as unattainable and expensive -- basically wines for the rich.

Truth be told, many are, with the premiere wines, or “first growths” (as the insiders call them) from Chateuas like Haut-Brion, Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Margaux and Mouton-Rothschild commanding top dollar.

As a matter of fact, just recently a case of Chateau Petrus 1990 sold for $45,938 at Sotheby’s  wine auction in New York.

But there are plenty of fabulous, affordable wines from the region too, says Michael Madrigale, head sommelier at Bar Boulud, Épicerie Boulud & Boulud Sud in New York City.

Madriagle is an Italian from Philadelphia, who grew up working in his family’s butcher shops.  But he got the wine bug and started working in restaurants and studying everything he could about wine.  He is now one of the top sommeliers in the country. He made the Food & Wine magazine "Top Sommeliers of 2012" list and was a 2014 James Beard Award nominee.

Although the cuisine at Bar Boulud lends itself to pair with many  Burgundian wines, Madrigale certainly holds a place in his heart for Bordeaux. In fact, he is also the ambassador for Planet Bordeaux, an organization aimed at promoting high-quality affordable wines from Bordeaux. So he was the perfect person to talk to about finding some great wines.

And he gave us a few suggestions.

1) Château La Maroutine 2012 (Bordeaux Blanc) $9.99 – Sherry Lehmann

2) Château Thieuley 2013 (Bordeaux Blanc) $12.95 - Calvert Woodley

3) Dourthe, La Grande Rosé 2012 (Bordeaux) $9.99 – Sherry Lehmann

4) Pey La Tour, Rosé 2013 (Bordeaux) $12.95 – Sherry Lehmann

This is a rose blend of 65 percent Cabernet Franc, 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 15 percent Merlot.

5) Clos Monicord 2010 - (Bordeaux Superieur) $30.00 – Vintry Fine Wines

So, try one and let me know if they transport you to Bordeaux.

Cent’ Anni.