Nothing can turn any occasion to a celebration, spark a conversation, and can elevate a meal from ordinary to elegant quite like wine.
Indeed, opening a new bottle of wine is like making the acquaintance of someone new, since each wine has its own personality, and is influenced by its surroundings, its history, the same way that people are. With one simple sip, you can either fall in love or move on to the next discovery. I find that red wine in particular, has a way to enchant because of its complexity and depth, and no area is more famous for its red wine than Bordeaux.
At about 4000 square miles, producing an average of 450 million bottles a year, this area of rolling hills and enchanting countryside is France’s largest wine region and home to the estates that have produced the most prestigious and most expensive wines in the world - Château Latour, Château Margaux, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Château Haut-Brion and Château Lafite Rothschild.
In its long and rich history, dating back to Roman times, it flourished as France’s largest port city, and great fortunes were made in commerce, administration, manufacturing, and, of course, wine.
But the region of Bordeaux holds more than its wine legacy. The city of Bordeaux, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located less than 3 hours from Paris, is a recognized cultural and architectural center of France. Lining the banks of the Garonne River, it is a shining example of neoclassical architecture and has over 350 historical monuments to prove it (only Paris has more). Owing to extensive conservation efforts, modern day Bordeaux still holds much of the grand allure of its golden age and still remains the center of the global wine industry.
Along with all the wine, it would be hard not to be tempted by Bordeaux’s local truffle and oysters and other culinary delights. Maybe even try a sip of the local cognac in one of the city’s many restaurants and cafes as you wander its long and graceful boulevards on your way to your next discovery.
Whether you are a wine connoisseur, a “foodie”, or history buff, Bordeaux is a dream destination that merits further exploration.