Tag Archives: Garonne

Négociant Cellars in Chartrons: the Merchant Heart of Bordeaux

We are 94 days deep into our EU Austerity Drinking Tour. My birthday has arrived and we are in Bordeaux: capital city of wine. I dreamt of tasting at the finest châteaux and wine bars, purchasing rare and astronomically priced bottles from posh shops. But my wife and I feel horrendously sick. Yesterday’s free tour of Graves sapped our energy, palates, livers, and relationship.

So today we explore the city sober. We start at Bordeaux’s Musée des Beaux-Arts. It is free thanks to construction (the austerity gods smile upon us). After a light breakfast of art, we stop outside St André Cathedral. My wife furiously knits my Irish wool birthday scarf, while I sketch the Cathedral: Continue reading

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Getting Dirty in Graves: Château la Croix

We pick up last Monday’s EU Austerity Drinking Tour post south of Bordeaux, sick, but thirsty. Our free, Open Doors, van tour of Graves had started decently. Château Pont de Brion let us taste a mini-enprimeur of 2012’s just-harvested varietals. They were tidy, well-branded, but too clean to be outstanding. Then I kicked a dog (accidentally), and they kicked us out.

Today, our van bounces to its next stop: Château la Croix.

The word Châteaux clearly gets applied to anything in Bordeaux. A child plays with gravel in the driveway. A stable-winery glares orange. The center tree shades a large, black dog who greets with a lazy bark.

But superficiality be damned. We came for wine, not glamor. Our van clatters off, leaving us and three, twenty-something ladies in the parking lot. Continue reading

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Bordeaux Begins: EU Austerity Drinking Tour: Day 91

For 91 days my wife and I have drunk on a budget from New York to France. Finally, we reach Bordeaux: home to more of the most expensive, collectable wines than any region in the world (as well as many thin, cheap, ones). Here we can fulfill our dream, forged in the fire of the Advanced WSET exam. We will smell the soil, try the food, and revel in the wines of this unique terroir. And it’s my birthday.

The rub? My wife’s flu has hit with full force. The sniffles have also begun to muddle my mind, and worse, my palate.

So there we stand, inside one of the most posh tasting rooms bequeathed by Bacchus: Continue reading

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