Monday, August 14, 2017

Bar a Vin, Bordeaux

For wine lovers, there’s just something about tasting Bordeaux wines. 

There’s something special about tasting those wines in Bordeaux. After all, we should get a taste before we head out to the vineyards.

But, how and where to start?

With so many areas, AVAs, and wines, this could be a daunting task.

We know about the left bank, with Medoc, and the right bank, with Saint Emilion to start with. But wait…there’s even more.

So, when we heard about the Bar a Vin in the city of Bordeaux, this seemed like a good place to start our education, right?

This isn’t your normal wine bar. If you want to sample a new wine, gain some insight and advice on a particular appellation or vintage, or just sit and sip your new favorite Bordeaux wine…this is the place. All the Bordeaux wines from reds to dry and sweet whites to roses and sparkling wines can be tried in a setting they specifically designed to let you appreciate and enjoy what Bordeaux has to offer.

The list we were handed had the day’s wines…all thirty of them. Sommeliers spent time with us, shared their passion and their knowledge of the wines on that list, and offered suggestions. We asked questions and they had answers. 

They explained that the list is updated frequently, depending on what is now available or what wine is a specialty they want to feature. If we weren’t sure about a wine, they explained some of the nuances to us. When they discovered our tastes, they brought us one not yet on the list to sample. Truly an experience we’re glad we found.

If you need something to taste along with your wines, local cheeses, meats, and chocolates are available as well. Terrific pairings seemed to exist for everything on the list.

Prices are reasonable…much more so than we expected. We found out why. The Bar a Vin is located on the ground floor of the Maison du Vin de Bordeaux, the headquarters of the Counseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux, or the Bordeaux Wine Council. They underwrite this endeavor as this offers the perfect opportunity to showcase their wines. Makes sense.

This 18th Century building is known as the Hotel Govineau. The triangle front reminds you of a ship’s prow, and it should. It was built to honor the city’s role as a port.

The Bar a Vin, complete with neoclassical architecture and contemporary furnishings, opened in 2006. Look around. Artwork, stained glass windows, tapestries, and mirrors all represent Bordeaux grape harvesters, the Garonne River, and the world of wine in Bordeaux.

If you’re staying in or near the city of Bordeaux, this is a place you won’t want to miss. Superb service accompanying fantastic wines in a relaxing environment…who could ask for more?

One hint…if you’re going in the afternoon, go early. This place, while spacious, fills quickly. Business people to tourists to wine lovers all know to head here about mid-afternoon. Or, go at 11:00 when it opens. The sommeliers love to tell you what’s new!

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