Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lunch in Saint-Emilion

Still on our way to Tours, driving through miles of vineyards...
we stopped for lunch in the small and ancient village of Saint-Emilion--there are some bits of the prehistoric here, lots of the Romans, but a focal time in the 8th Century, when the wandering monk, Emilion, came to live here in a cave, and gradually drew followers.  I didn't like the statue they had in front of the town, so no picture of that.  Just a curious wall, which I guess needed no comment...
The village itself winds around the hills, as do the narrow streets.  Beside the church, we could look down on the rest of the town, and the central square where most of us would have lunch.
I wandered off a bit, looking for just a glass of wine before lunch.  I was directed into a fairly dark establishment, where I tried the "cheap" house wine, only 9 euros a glass.  It was just fine.  More notable was the house wine menu, some 20 glossy pages:
You might notice some of those per bottle prices over on the right, like that one for 1650 euros.  It went up.  A few pages later, I found the 1961 Lafite Rothschild for 4850 euros a bottle.  Well, I knew then it was time to go back to the sunny tables where the everyone else had ordered food.

Ah, I should mention how serious wine is here, in the heart of the Bordeaux region.  Saint-Emilion itself has a centuries old wine guild, which jealously protects its wine and their traditions.  No Wal-Mart wine in town...

But lunch.  Someone ordered snails, and was it Charity who had the smoked-duck strip pizza?
While Ann posed, shyly, with her omelet.

As lunch was ending, one of the waiters came over and dropped a card for me, directing me to a place around the corner to taste wine.  I guess my 9 euro glass at least signaled an interest.  We were running late, but about 10 of us went to find the "cave" = cellar, tasting room.  It was worth the stroll.


A generous selection, and a few bottles for friends and family...

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