Tradition has it Bordeaux wines are best serve with food, but that does not mean it has to be a formal dinner or lunch. To prove the point Chateaux in Bordeaux are now thinking outside the box and offering visitors the chance to taste their wines in a more relaxed atmosphere.
I mentioned in a previous post that Les Medocaines will offer you breakfast before tasting on a Sunday morning and for the summer Chateau Pape Clement, a classified growth in the Graves, is offering a series of themed brunches. Pape Clement is known for its wine tourism, with its Chateau bedrooms available for guests, as well as tasting rooms and cellars. It is effectively an urban vineyard, a small green oasis in the middle of the Bordeaux suburbs, so perfectly placed to invite city dwellers over. The next brunch will take place on the 15th June with a fruit theme serving a selection of fruit juices and jams produced by Alain Milliat each one chosen to highlight the fruit aromas associated with the Château wines such as peaches, strawberries, blackcurrants, and much more. The 29th June will be a completely different Japanese theme with a Sushi selection and in July, on the 6th and 27th, the theme will be ‘pink’ so come dressed in pink to sample some rosé or on the 10th August for a seafood buffet.
If your prefer your wine in the afternoon, call in to Château Carbonneau in Pessac Sur Dordogne. Here, not far from Saint Emilion, Wilfrid Franc de Ferrière and his New Zealand wife Jacquie have created ‘The Glass house’, a ‘Salon du Thé’ named after the spectacular green house built onto the side of their 19th century chateau.
The chateau has been in Wilfred’s family since the 1930s and it is one of only a few vineyards in Bordeaux that still practise mixed agriculture with their 20 strong herd of Blonde d’Aquitaine cattle as a compliment to the 20 hectares of ‘Saint Foy de Bordeaux vines producing red, white and rosé wines.
If driving home along the winding lanes after your tasting seems a too risky, book ahead to stay in one of the 5 guest rooms in the Chateau. You can then join fellow guests for dinner prepared by Jacquie in the Chateau dining room and the next morning take breakfast on the South facing terrace or in the conservatory – and you can start all over again.