Bordeaux Report

Bordeaux Opera House

Bordeaux Opera House

Bordeaux Report – Top five reasons to visit Bordeaux

Hello, Everyone, from Bordeaux. We are enjoying our stay in this fabulous French city. We are lodging in the center of town at the Majestic Hotel. There are several restaurants, stores and wine shops within easy walking distance. If you ever get the chance to travel to France, spending several days in Bordeaux is highly recommended. It is a great city with many friendly people. Here are the top five reasons to visit Bordeaux.

La Cité du Vin

La Cité du Vin is an educational wine museum extraordinaire.  It opened in June of 2016. The museum can easily be reached from within the city by using the Tram. One should plan on spending a half day at the wine museum, including time for lunch. The museum is all about wine and wine regions worldwide. Bordeaux wine is featured, but so are the wines from the Napa Valley, Washington, Italy and elsewhere. There are many educational stations, and my favorite was the sensory station. Squeeze the rubber bulb and it sends a scent of whatever is in the bell jar. We sniffed strawberry, coffee, licorice, barnyard and other wine aromas. We watched incredible depictions and movies on the history of wine and winemaking. At the top level of the museum, your ticket includes a taste of wine and spectacular views of the city of Bordeaux.


The Tram

The city of Bordeaux has a state-of-the-art transit system, the Tram. These futuristic trams have an in-ground electrical system that quietly drives the train cars. There are no overhead power lines. There are three tram lines and the city is adding a fourth line very soon. We took the tram from the railroad station to our hotel and another to the wine museum. The cost is 1.5 Euros a ride. The tram ride is quiet and efficient.


Visiting Chateaus

At the tourist office in Bordeaux, you can find tours and tour drivers who will take you to the Chateaus for a day or more. We had set up our tours several months before we arrived and hired a driver for three days. There were eight of us and we paid 100 euros per couple for each day. Please see Bordeaux Elite. A tour driver can also arrange visits to wineries.


St. Emilion

A trip to St. Emilion

From the City of Bordeaux, you can take a 25-minute train ride to this quaint town. You climb the hill and at the top you will be rewarded with spectacular views. It seems that every other store is a wine shop. At most of these shops, you can taste wine and, if you purchase, have it shipped back to the United States. One of the best wine shops we encountered on this trip was in St. Emilion. It is Ets Martin. One of our traveling friends had arranged a time for us to taste wines. There is no obligation to purchase wine or any pressure to buy. There is plenty of good dining and other boutique shopping. It is worth spending a good portion of the day in St. Emilion.

A great wine shop in St. Emilion

A great wine shop in St. Emilion

Learn about Bordeau wine

You learn about Bordeaux wines by osmosis. When you go to a French restaurant or cafe, the wine list will have an extensive menu of white, Rosé and red wines from both the Left Bank and the Right Bank. We were amazed at how good the White Bordeaux wines tasted. We paid no more than 25 Euros at a restaurant for a bottle of fresh and dry white wine. There are plenty of very good Bordeaux red wines for around 30 Euros on the wine menu. The Left Bank wines are blends of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and tend to be more earthy and less fruity. The Right Bank St. Emilion wines are mainly  Merlot and are fruity and bright wines. Head to wine shops that offer wine tastings. The staff at these wine shops are extremely knowledgeable and very accommodating.

If you cannot make it to Bordeaux, stop in at your local wine shop and stock up on some Bordeaux wines. You can then visit Bordeaux vicariously with each sip of wine. I know that when we return home from our trip, we will certainly be searching for bargain Bordeaux wines.

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