Heather’s car is ten years old, and as it’s time for a new car, so, we’re in the middle of car shopping. And, since we seem to translate nearly everything into wine, while test driving a number of cars we had a realization that the German cars we test drove were like the wines from the Left Bank of Bordeaux while the Japanese cars were like the wines from the Right Bank of Bordeaux. Let me explain.

The Test Drive

Audi-Lexus-10KBottlesWe started our test drives with a German BMW X3, and it was a sexy, sporty, stiff, in your face, and strong – yet it lacked the polish and ease of many other cars. Next we drove a Japanese Lexus NX 200t. It was plush, comfortable, luxurious, and easy to drive. We followed that with the Japanese Acura RDX, which was easy and comfortable, reminding us of the Lexus NT without quite the same refinement and luxury.

Translating into Wine

After both of us test drove these three cars, I was trying to figure out how to explain my thoughts on them to Heather, and then it hit me. The best way to translate anything, of course, is to translate it into wine (because what do I know better than wine?). I thought of the Lexus just like I think of Chateau Cheval Blanc – all the above adjectives of plush, luxurious, and easy on the palette – yet lacking some excitement. The BMW was a Chateau Mouton-Rothschild – sexy, exciting, challenging, and cool – but perhaps a bit too much of all of those. The Acura was a Chateau Figeac – a wine that reminds me of Cheval Blanc, but not quite in the same league with the same luxurious palette as the Cheval Blanc.

A Pattern Started to Emerge

Left-vs-Right-Bank-Bordeaux-10KBottlesSo, a pattern started to emerge. If you’re a car geek, or you are a wine geek, you have to see the relationship. The German car drove as a Cabernet Sauvignon tasted, and the two Japanese cars drove like Merlots with some Cabernet Franc in them. And, of course, we’re not talking about just any Merlots here, but probably the finest Merlots in the world – the ones from the right bank of Bordeaux.

We then tried a German Audi Q5. While less stiff and less sexy than the BMW, it was very similar with more power and strength, and more stability than the BMW. And, of course, one cannot compare the Audi with the Japanese cars – it could only be fairly compared with the BMW. The Audi was, of course, Chateau Latour – what other wine has the power, strength, and stability of a Latour?

Our Theory

So here’s our theory, for better or worse. German luxury cars drive like the predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon wines from the left bank of Bordeaux – powerful, challenging, and great. And the Japanese luxury cars drive like the predominantly Merlot wines (with some Cabernet Franc) from the right bank of Bordeaux – luxurious, opulent, and refined. (We’re sorry that there are no American cars in this description, but let’s face the sad reality, Heather and I have yet to go wine tasting in the Rhone Valley of France.) So, which car did Heather end up choosing? Follow 10K Bottles on Instagram to find out.


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