Category Archives: Wine

Nutty Blue Cheese Shortbread with Port

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When I ask people what they pair with port, the first response is usually chocolate. Deep, dark, silky and smooth, it’s wonderful with many port wines. But people not fond of chocolate want something different. A few years ago, I set out to find an offering when chocolate gets thrown out. What I found will be nice to enjoy on… Read more »

The Chinon Adventure

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Up early on a rainy Sunday, Tram C to Gare Saint-Jean, Chinon was waiting. Mark remained home working on a paper and oodles of statistical analysis. Wow, did I just call Bordeaux home?!? It takes 4 to 5 train-bus hours to get to Chinon from Bordeaux. (TGV or regular train to Tours  Centre or Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, then bus to Chinon). As… Read more »

Carcassone Vins et Vinos Afternoon

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Vins et Vinos in Carcassonne

This is a continuation of our holiday Carcassonne adventure focusing on wine. After hiking and exploring, we were off to learn more about the wines of the Languedoc-Roussillion. Since we didn’t have a car, and we were smack in the middle of the holidays, visiting wineries was a bit harder. Research uncovered Vins et Vinos, a small wine shop in… Read more »

Off to Carcassonne

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Carcassonne was a planned stop on our way home from Ille sur Tête. How could one not stop in such a town, so much history and wine?!? To set the stage, Carcassonne draws about 3 million visitors annually. People primarily come to see the Cité de Carcassonne, a  medieval fortress that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s basically a… Read more »

Cooperage Visits

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So far, I’ve had opportunity to visit two barrel making operations (cooperages) in the Bordeaux area, of which there are dozens.  Depending on the style of red wine, after fermentation is complete, wines are often aged in oak barrels.  In some cases, such as in Bordeaux and Bourgogne (Burgundy), white wines are both fermented and aged in oak barrels.  Barrels… Read more »

A Movie and a Wine

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“Had She oones Wett Hyr Whystyll She couth Syng full clere Hyr pater noster.”- 1386 Towneley Mysteries There was Sideways, then Bottleshock. How about French Kiss (a wine movie of sorts), or the classic many people may not know, The Secret of Santa Vitoria. And there was Somm which came out a few years ago showing viewers the intensity (and… Read more »

A “Portes Ouvertes” Weekend: Sauternes

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Chateau Closiot

Hold this thought: Sauternes is Not Just For Dessert! Bordeaux has what’s called Portes Ouvertes (Open Door) weekends in most appellations once per month. Many of the wineries within the specific “open” appellation are available for degustation (tasting) without a prior reservation. Because châteaux require reservations, taking advantage of these weekends is a must for those interested in tasting. We… Read more »

Picky Picking

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We arrived at the beginning of the grape harvest here in Bordeaux, and no sooner than the first week of class got involved in the action. Bordeaux Sciences Agro (the school I’m attending) has it’s own vineyard and winery in the Pessac area of Bordeaux called Château Luchey-Halde (click here).  It’s a full-scale (10,000 case per year) revenue generating operation,… Read more »