Category Archives: Loire

Nantes, Muscadet, and the vines of Sevre et Maine: EU Austerity Drinking Tour #51

86 days into our EU Austerity Drinking Tour, we leave Tours for Nantes: port of entry into France’s Loire River.

We pass the lovely hills of Saumur and Chinon: famed for cabernet franc.

Then the miserable, industrial Angers flattens before us: a wine region overstretched to countless styles, including the derided Rosé d’Anjou.

But finally our train stops in magnificent Nantes.

Yes. Nantes has castles, chocolate shops, and museums: very French but very Brittany. Really though, Nantes, in a nutshell, is Syfy’s town of Eureka. Jules Verne was born here. Industrial cranes and factories pop up everywhere. The city boasts more trams, buses, trains, and bike-shares than needed. They have a whole, magnificent island dedicated to steam-punk machines: Continue reading

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Chenonceau Castle, Gamay, and a new AOC Touraine Chenonceaux: EU Austerity Drinking Tour #50

Before our EU Austerity Drinking Tour leaves the central Loire for it’s Atlantic Coast, we have to squeeze in a castle. Think of Bordeaux.  You probably think of famed Châteaux.  But most of those are 19th century, retro-wannabes.  Only true, … Continue reading

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Wine Tour Made Easy: Maison des Vins de Loire de Tours, France: EU Austerity Drinking Tour #49

This Monday’s EU Austerity Drinking Tour takes us on a whirlwind wine tour of the Loire…indoors.

Last Monday’s postcard post saw a sun-drenched bike ride.

But, back in Tours, while enjoying its centuries-old city center…

The clouds open, drench, and, drive us…well…into a bottle shop (surprise!):

Maison des Vins de Loire de Tours. A group of winemakers and negociants wanted to educate visitors about the Loire’s many wines, grapes, and regions. So they set up tasting rooms in Tours, Saumur, Nantes, and Angers.

Yes, it’s for tourists. But mostly locals popped in: partly out of pride, partly because the prices are low.

Overwhelmed by their range, hospitality, and knowledge, we visit it twice. Here are some highlights: Continue reading

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VELO VOUVRAY 3: Maison Darragon: EU Austerity Drinking Tour #48

For this Monday’s EU AUSTERITY DRINKING ADVENTURE, we trade a château for a maison.

Underwhelmed and starving, we leave the lofty Château Moncontour of last week’s post. Our rent-o-bikes take us to lunch of quiches, bread, and fabulous pastries. We eat on a cliff square. Mossy shingles span below us, Vouvray’s crumbling, cream church looms above us.

Full, we follow signs up a tortuous slope. We pass a villa hewn into Vouvray’s famed tuffeau cliffs: Continue reading

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