Bordeaux is the ultimate "wine city"... but that's not saying everything! - Sébastien G
Every self-respecting Bordelais is more than a little proud of his city, and will tell you so on #BordeauxCestTropBeau! There's probably no need to tell you that Bordeaux is the wine city, and that the surrounding vineyards are famous around the world.
It's hard not to see vines all around you once you leave the city. In fact, some of them are actually within the city! Yes, it can seem odd in this day and age to see vines so close to a major urban area, with châteaux and their vines surrounded by modern houses! For instance, Château Haut Brion is located in Pessac, a suburb of Bordeaux. This famous first growth in the Pessac-Léognan appellation is somewhat incongruously bordered by échoppes (typical local stone bungalows with gardens)! This seems very surprising!
I'd also like to ask you to look up as you walk around Bordeaux. For instance, when you go to Place de la Bourse, be sure to notice the sculptures on the doors and windows. These are called mascarons. There are over 3,000 in Bordeaux and nearly all are different – at least that's the impression I have, because I have never seen two that look the same! What I love above all is that each one says something about the city's history. Sometimes mascarons relate to a family, and other times they concern a religious subject, or the slave trade. One thing is for sure – despite the centuries, these sculptures are still very realistic today, and some of them seem almost alive! Take a good look at their faces. They seem to look back at you!!!
After this small escapade, I suggest we finish, like one always does in the Southwest, with an aperitif. You will soon realize that places where you can enjoy a drink indoors or outdoors are ubiquitous in Bordeaux. There is one café I'm especially fond of... but, no, I'm not going to tell you the name since you'll want to go there and there will be far too many people!!!
OK, OK, since you're really interested... I suggest you go have a glass of wine at the Wine Bar on the ground floor of the Maison du Vin, a stone's throw from the Grand Théâtre. The Maison du Vin's 18th century architecture is almost as worthwhile as the range of wines that are served there: dry white wines, sweet whites, Saint Emilion, Pomerol, Margaux, Médoc, Graves, etc. The sommeliers will be glad to offer advice. They really know what they're talking about! And, there's a nice surprise in store for you. When you see the prices, you'll undoubtedly want to thank me! I'll say no more :-)
I hope you have a great visit and wish you an enjoyable tasting!