Best restaurants / bars with good wine lists
Let's start with the Michelin-starred restaurants in Bordeaux... since you can pretty much guarantee they have good wine lists:
Le Chapon Fin (one star, has been starred since the first edition of the Michelin guide)
Owned by Jean Michel Cazes of Chateau Lynch Bages, there is no suprise that this is an excellent wine list. Heavy and running to around 20 pages (big type, so not too off-putting!). Clever touches like a suggestion of five low-alcohol but delicious wines such as Moscato d'Asti and a Negrette P'tit Bulles.
5 rue Montesquieu, 33000 Bordeaux
Phone 05 56 79 10 10
Le Pavillon des Boulevards (one star)
120 rue Croix-de-Seguey, 33000 Bordeaux, 05 56 81 51 02
La Cape (one star)
allée Morlette, 33150 Cenon, 05 57 80 24 25
Jean-Marie Amat (one star, just awarded in 2009)
26 rue Raymond-Lis, 33310 Lormont, 05 56 06 12 52
Le St-James (two stars)
3 pl. Camille Hostein, 33270 Bouliac Phone 05 57 97 06 00
Hostellerie de Plaisance (two stars, second just awarded in 2009)
5 place du Clocher, 33330 St Emilion, 05 57 55 07 55
Château Cordeillan Bages (two stars)
61 route des Vignerons, 33250 Pauillac. 05 56 59 24 24, http://www.cordeillanbages.com
Claude Darroze (one star)
95 cours Gén. Leclerc, 33210 Langon. 05 56 63 00 48
La Guérinière (one star)
18 cours de Verdun, 33470 Gujan Mestras. 05 56 66 08 78
plus other good wine-focused restaurants...
This restaurant used to have a hand-written wine list, which I loved. It has since gone to a printed version, but it still runs to around 10 pages, and is full of wonderful wines. Concentrating far more of the Cotes de Bordeaux than other restaurants in the city, there is a wide variety of excellently priced bottles from Bourg, Blaye, Castillon, Cadillac and Francs. But lovers of fine Medoc won't be disappointed either - all the big names are here. You can also ask for the private room down in the wine cellar.
05 56 91 56 37, www.latupina.com, 6 rue Porte de la Monnaie, Bordeaux 33800.
O de L'Ha
An estate-agent would describe the space here as 'cosy', but it is more than worth the close-set tables for the food, atmosphere and excellent suggestions for wines by the glass. The Bordeaux concentrate on good second labels of well known properties such as Demoiselle de Larrivet Haut Brion, and there is a good selection of non-Bordeaux also (although, as you often find, there is usually a Bordeaux link such as here with Michel Rolland's Clos de Los Siete).
05 56 81 42 21, www.odela.com, 5 rue de Ha, Bordeaux 33000
Le Table du Calvet
Although the negociant Calvet is no longer in the city centre, there is one piece that remains, in the form of this restaurant. The atmosphere is pretty romantic - an airy room, white table clothes, exposed stone walls, and very good quality cooking. The wine list is divided into a selection of Negociant Wines (which means wines from outside of Bordeaux, such as Burgundy or Champagne) and Grand Crus (a variety of Bordeaux appellations), and is very wide-ranging. You can also get a half bottle of Yquem for 149 euros.
05 56 39 62 80, www.la-table-calvet.info , 81 Cours du Médoc, 33000 Bordeaux