Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wine-tasting in Bordeaux

On our long drive from Biarritz to Tours, our first major stop was at a vineyard and wine cellar, Plou et fils, somewhere in the Bordeaux wine region.
A pretty place, but more impressive as we walked into the cavernous wine-production cellar, past literally thousands of bottles of wine in various stages of aging.  Fred, who was teaching the wine-chemistry class, had been telling us on the bus about many of the complexities of the whole process.
Our tour guide, along with his dog, which he said would help drink any wine we didn't finish...
told us how the cellar had been carved out of the stone, "finished," if ever, back in the 1800s--hardly a blink of time, for he also told us that his family had been producing wine here for 25 generations, currently cultivating about 210 acres of vines.
We learned all kinds of things about the aging process, the quality of the oak barrels, the different processes for red, white, rose and sparkling wines, the tannins from both the barrels and grapes--and quite a bit more, which I may not have taken sufficient notes about.  (Strangely, I always seem to be the only one on these tours eagerly scribbling illegible little notes on folded paper.  Perhaps I just need to bring extra pens for everyone else!)  In any case, this led to the tasting room...
where even the social scientists among us collected data...



while I fulfilled my role as Global Ambassador, and, of course, bought a t-shirt.

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