Whilst French romance doesn't interest me at all, French wine certainly does. It was a given that in our time in France, Marc and I would be embarking on a wine tour. I did a brief search and concluded that Bordeaux was one of the main wine regions in France and I narrowed down on this particular tour that was highly recommended on Tripadviser.
I drink a fair amount of red wine but I'm just about the most uneducated consumer there is, second only to Marc. If it's in a wine glass, I'll drink it. I'm quite embarrased by this fact because wine and food are supposed to go together and being a n00b at wine does not bode well for my reputation (if any) as a food blogger. I sought to ammend this with a day's worth of wine education.
We were picked up by Caro Feely at the Bordeaux train station before being driven to their organic vineyard. Our morning was spent having a personal tour through the vineyard, picking up a brief history of the region as well as interesting biological facts about grape vines, the effect of the local ecosystem on end taste of wine, and the way of organic farming embodied by Terroir Feely.
By noon, some other tourists had arrived and we joined together for our wine and food paring lunch. There were baskets of breads, greens and seasonal berries to munch on, as well as the specific items chosen to compliment the wines we would be tasting.
We went through the correct motions for appraising wine (swirl, sniff, sip, spit) and progressed to tasting wine with the prepared food partners. I don't know if I was drunk on wine or holiday cheer but it was indeed amazing how a perfectly matched wine and plate was much greater than the sum of the parts.
Lunch at the vineyard
I'm vague on the specifics but the general rules of white with seafood, chicken and light foods, plus red with dark meats and so on rang true. What I found really interesting was the effect the dessert wine had on the blue cheese we tried. It absolutely added a whole dimension to the palate when trying the sweet dessert wine and pungent cheese together. Amazing.
Dessert for our lunch
We ended up buying a bottle of the Terroir Feely wine to enjoy back in Paris. And that we did. I can't tell you details about the aroma and complexity on palate (listen to me trying to know things) but I recall it was extremely easy to drink and didn't cause hangovers at all. That is the good grace of organic wine. It's practically a health tonic.
Nearly a year after the tour, I can conclude that I didn't retain much knowledge and when I'm faced with a wine menu at a restaurant, I'm as clueless as ever. I thought I figured out that merlot was my prefered red but man, I've had some crappy merlots back home. Even so, I still have fond memories of this tour and I can recommend Caro as both friendly and educational.