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▣ FOLLOW ME TO FRANCE & ITALY - Bordeaux Bike Trip

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on August 14th, 2013 at 9:50 AM

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Day 1.

 OMG! We started our Bordeaux bike and wine experience clocking almost 50 miles. (We old geezers have still got what it takes!) It was a lovely loop starting at our Inn in Margeaux. We went through several little villages with acres and acres of vines. Our route even took us through about 8 miles of a pine forest. We only stopped at one vineyard close to the end of our biking so that we could enjoy a longer ride in order to enjoy the scenery and maintain an easy pace.

However we made up for lost “wine tasing time” at dinner. We rode a few kilometers to a lovely bistro and enjoyed a bottle of Bordeaux with a plate of perfectly cooked duck breast and the most succulent seared foie gras that I have ever had.  And the portion of foie gras was generous! The bistro was run by a husband and wife team with about 8 tables. Even though they did not speak  a lot of English and we really don’t speak French (Larry does a little), it’s amazing how far a few smiles, gestures and pantomiming can do!

 

Day 2.

 We and our bikes were picked up from our hotel by our tour guide, Nicholas. We spent an amazing day touring and tasting three of the premier wines of the Medoc region.

From our hotel in Margaux, which is in the Medoc region, we stopped at Chateau Desmirail for a tour and tasting. Unlike a typical stop at a winery in the Napa Valley, a tour and tasting in Bordeaux is focused on the wineries history and the process of making the wine. The tasting of the wine is really secondary. Our tour and tastings at each winery took about an hour! But it was fascinating – the history and evolution of the wineries in particular. Very few these days are still family owned. However, Chateau Desmirail is one of the exceptions. And they uphold some of the traditional means of making wine while weaving in the technological advances of the modern winemaking process.

We then had an amazing lunch at a very modern looking wine shop and restaurant called LeWy. Our relaxed 3-course lunch including local lamb, fish and vegetables. While this may sound ordinary, the complex layering of flavors with each dish plus the preparation and presentation was extraordinary. Ah, Viva La French!

After lunch we visited two more wineries (chateaus) – Gruaud Larose and Pichon Longueville Baron – all lovely, rich Bordeaux's with a varying percentage and combination of Cabernet Sauvingnon and Merlot grapes (predominately).

After a very long day, we were dropped off at a small waterside town called Pauillac where we will stay for 2 nights. Tomorrow, more biking and more to come!

 

Day 3.

 From Pauillic we biked about 30 miles in the Medoc region. A highlight was biking to see the Chateau of Mouton Lafite Rothchild. We actually got on premise but “got caught” and was asked to leave. Oh, well. Moving on, it was an easy ride through a “sea” of beautiful acres of vines. We rode our bikes through this area on Sunday. What was lovely is that each town was very quiet. It reminded me of a time gone by when I was growing up where Sunday was meant to be with family and not to do anything else –no shopping, no working, etc. It was nice to see that this tradition still exists . . . however, I did long for a nice cold beer at the 20 mile mark!!! Oh well!

 

Day 4.

We got picked up by our guide from Pauillac to a lovely journey to Saint-Emilion which is a medieval city and beautiful wine area. We had two private tours with “small” family-owned wineries including Chateau du Tailhas in Pomeral right outside of Saint-Emilion and Chateau Beausejour Becot. The main distinction of wines of Medoc and Margeaux versus Pomeral and Saint-Emilion is the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon versus Merlot – Medoc/Margeaux wines have a higher percentage of Cabernet whereas those in Saint-Emilion have a higher percentage of Merlot.

I could give you a much more in-depth explanation of both wines, but in the end, they are both lovely but both have a very distinct flavor and composition.

 

Day 5 & 6.

Our final day of biking took us from Saint Emilion to the city of Bordeaux. It was about a 45 mile trek that took us once again through beautiful acres of vineyards, chateaus and rolling hills. However, a majority of our ride was on a lovely tree-lined bike path all the way to Bordeaux. The bike path is an old railroad path. Once we got to Bordeaux, we were still on bike only paths through the city which made it very easy and safe.

The city of Bordeaux is vibrant. It's easy to maneauver via biking, walking, running, etc. It's a city of old versus new. We loved spending our last day here before heading to Bordeaux.

Please go to my Facebook Page at Kissed By An Italian and look at all of our amazing photos of this trip! Merci!

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▣ FOLLOW ME TO FRANCE & ITALY - Paris

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on August 13th, 2013 at 3:14 PM

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First Stop - Paris

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▣ Just Say "No" To New Year's Resolutions!

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on January 9th, 2013 at 6:20 PM

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Chef Mary Ann has refused to pledge any resolutions for 2013. Instead, she has written her personal "recipe for success" for 2013 and beyond!

She invites you to please read on . . .

 

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▣ RX For A Stress Free Holiday!

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on December 1st, 2010 at 10:55 AM

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Read About How to Have a Stress Free Holiday

in the Kitchen!

 

 

 

 

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