Mmmmmmm…. a day devoted to wine and food. I can’t think of a much better way to spend a day.
I’ve been denying it for awhile but it’s becoming aware to me that I’m a foodie. I like a nice meal. I like to try new things.
While I was home I very rarely went out to eat and certainly wouldn’t have gone out to a sit down restaurant by myself. Obviously on my trip that has all changed. In fact I think I’ve eaten dinner out every night save for a handful and I’ve sat down alone in a restaurant more times than I care to count.
Today I went on an all day tour of Bordeaux and St Emillion and threw in a couple of amazing meals to boot.
First the tour…
I opted for the all day tour at 60 euros because I figured I was only here in Bordeaux to do a tour so it may as well be all day. The tour was split in two parts. The first started at 9:30 in the morning followed by lunch and then a second part at 1:30 in the afternoon.
I must admit I was a little disappointed to find myself in a group of only 7 people for the morning part as I would later find out the rest of the group (a total of 53 people) had opted for only the afternoon portion.
We spent the morning here in downtown Bordeaux exploring the city and the wine museum. To be frank it was rather boring and the fact that our guide would say everything in both French and English was a bit tedious. Things perked up a little when we finally got to try some wine at the end of our wine museum tour (which took forever). They served a Sauvignon Blanc and a Merlot along with some bread and cheese and from then on out it was all uphill.
We soon after stopped for an included preset lunch at a little restaurant in the neighborhood Inside there were dozens if not hundreds of bottles of wine and in the basement was a refrigerated room you could enter that had a huge selection of cheeses. The most expensive bottle I saw was a bottle of red from 1919 at the low, low price of only 850 euros. We sadly didn’t get to try that wine but the shop owner (who, by the way, was super friendly and joyful) did pour us both a white and a red wine for our meal.
Upon sitting down we were almost immediately greeted with our plates: an extremely tender beef stew, olive oil and garlic marinated whole baby potatoes and 3 slices of cheese.
For dessert we were served a plate with espresso, a mini creme brulee and a light lemon cream dish.
An amazing meal but not the best one I would have this day…
But first – the afternoon portion of our tour…
The seven of us joined the rest of the group already on the tour bus and we headed an hour outside of town to St Emillion. We toured the tiny town for an hour or so looking at the different little shops.
By this time it was about 30C/86F outside so it was quite warm. In fact every day since I arrived in France last week has been sunny with crystal blue skies – a very welcome change after the miserable rain in Italy and Spain.
At 4pm we all boarded the bus again on our way to Chateau Faugeres – a vineyard about 15 minutes away. After passing hectare after hectare of grape vines we arrived at an ultra modern building that housed all the barrels.
Our tour at the vineyard was led by a young french woman wearing a black turtleneck. She, of course, had my attention as there are a few things I’m a sucker for:
● a girl in glasses
● a girl who smells like vanilla
● and a girl who wears a black turtleneck
She showed us around the facility touring the different barrel rooms and talked about the process of wine making. We ended in a room with dozens of wine glasses setup for tasting.
After trying a couple of wines I bought my third souvenir of the trip – a wine opener with the vineyard’s name on it. I actually have about 8 wine openers at home already but, c’mon, how could I resist this? Now when I come back to the real world as a server I’ll have a wine opener with a story!
We finally arrived back to Bordeaux at 6:30pm and after being out for 9 hours I was ready to get back to the hostel, freshen up, and go out to find a great dinner as this would be my last in France until I visit Paris in September.
After walking around for awhile I finally found the place – a small little restaurant on a side street with an outdoor patio. It was 9pm when I ordered my meal and wine and I savored it for over an hour.
For an appetizer, I had salmon tartar with a house salad in a vinaigrette dressing with corn and tomatoes. For my main dish I chose sliced duck served with a lemon pepper sauce, frites and greens.
But the real highlight of the meal came in my final course. I had planned on getting an apple tart (one of the choices on the 3 course 19 euro menu) but the table next to be had ordered a medley of desserts and when I saw what they got I knew I had to have it too.
So I paid the extra 4 euros and received a large square plate with creme caramel, chocolate mousse, lemon tart, chocolate flan, espresso and a shot of Manzana Verde (an apple liqueur).
This was easily the best dessert I’ve ever had! It’s a shame I’m leaving Bordeaux tomorrow because I want to go there again but, alas, it’s onto Switzerland now where I’m sure I’ll discover some great food as well…