You could call it good timing or you could call it a total fluke. Whatever you call it the fact that my trip to Bordeaux coincided with the Bordeaux Fete Le Vin (which is only held once every two years) was a very good thing. The French could teach most countries a few things about food and wine festivals. For a start, the price instead of being eye-watering, was very accessible. If you paid €15 you got a wine glass in a little carrier to wear around your neck and vouchers which entitled you to 12 different tastings of wine and one water tasting. An interesting ratio!
Freshly shucked oysters for free
This was incredibly good value for money as each tasting was basically a full glass of wine, and a lot of it was wine that is not necessarily cheap. What’s more if you didn’t want to pay for tastings you could still access the festival and wander around without having to part with a single Euro. The festival was based in the city of Bordeaux, with tents were set up along the banks of the Garonne river representing the different regions in Bordeaux. We wandered between tents discovering that wine in Bordeaux was not limited to red (they make a lot of white and rose as well) and learning about the different terroir and styles from the different
areas of Bordeaux.
The jambon truck – also free!
Meanwhile we snacked on oysters, freshly shucked and provided totally free by a team of volunteers. There was also a jambon truck which may just be one of the most fantastic things I have ever come across. Jambon was carved off one of several legs displayed in the truck and once again was compeltely free. If you kept wandering the festival joined up with Bordeaux’s weekly organic market, Marche de Quais, which is held every Sunday morning. Here we feasted on fresh seafood brochettes and shopped for beautifully presented cheeses. We had such a good time that we are already planning our visit back for two years time.
Amazingly presented cheeses
Bordeaux Fete Le Vin is held once every two years in late June at Quai des Chartrons on the banks of the Garonne river in Bordeaux, France.
Marche de Quais can be found every Sunday morning at Quai des Chartrons on the banks of the Garonne river in Bordeaux, France.
The cheese plate
Gourmet Travel Tips
If you go to Bordeaux you must stay at Chateau Bellevue which is set amongst the vines in the little village of Plasac. It is out of the city of Bordeaux and a good half an hour from the airport but the extra travel time is worth it to stay in such an amazing property. From the contemporary art on the walls, to the perfectly restored sandstone exterior to the swimming pool overlooking the vines this is the sort of bed and breakfast you dream about when you leave. The owner, Petra, was also very helpful with tips for wine tasting, restaurants and markets. I cannot recommend staying here enough. Prices from €130 a room per night, including breakfast.
Details: 4 Lu Vit Bellevue, F33390 Plassac, Bordeaux, France (Ph +33 642 75 94 95)