VinoTripping Blog

Cite Du Vin and beyond

cite du vin

The Cite du Vin is located in the city of Bordeaux on the bank of the river.  The design was architected to look like wine swirling in a glass and it is a beautiful building.  The exhibits were really interesting, all based around understanding wine, its history and enjoying wine… without actually having a glass in hand.  There were many, many children there and all of the exhibits were fine for kids, except for the experiential room created to reflect champagne and the culture of sex.  That one we were even a bit uncomfortable sitting in.  It was relaxing and beautiful, until the music started to oooh and ahhhhh.  Then it was a bit odd and the other patrons all looked at each other with discomfort and humor. 

There was another exhibit where they had a table and “chairs” with experts sitting in the chairs using virtual technology.  Visitors to the museum join them at the table and they talk about dining with wine, wine pairing and other wine topics.  I loved how they discussed that, in France, meals were the experience of the evening, the multi-course menu experience. People would gather just for that.

My favorite exhibit was above the champagne room, where they had bulbs you squeeze and then smell the various aromas you can find in wine.  There were tests if you could choose between two aromas and then just ones you had to guess. 

I could have stayed at that exhibit for quite a while, but we had tickets to a Bordeaux tasting class at the museum so we headed there.  The class was interesting in that we got to taste a Claret made in the traditional way.  This was a red wine, almost rose but darker, that was very acidic with tart green apple taste.  This was the taste sensation that the British went crazy over and helped put Bordeaux in the center of the wine map, served chilled.  It wasn’t my favorite, but I love to taste history!  We tasted two additional wines in the class, a white from Pessac-Leognan and red from Pauillac.  My favorite was the white, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. 

We headed up the elevator for our complimentary glass of wine that comes with every entrance to the museum.  We enjoyed it on their 360 degree view deck overlooking the city.  We then headed down one level to their gorgeous restaurant, grabbed a seat outside on the deck there and had an incredible meal paired with great wine.  After, we headed back to the castle for glass of 2015 Chateau Pape Clement red (yum!!!) and we fell asleep blissfully in our beautiful room, feeling like princesses in our castle.

The next morning, we woke up and went downstairs to a regal continental breakfast.  The sun was shining as it did for the entire trip. We were very fortunate.  I had made an appointment to tour a beautiful chateau in the Medoc at Chateau Fieuzal, a premier cru growth with an excellent reputation.  We bid Erwan a goodbye, and drove north down the medoc towards the ocean.

About Author

After graduating from Brandeis University, Alison worked as a teacher at two of the top high schools in the country and spent her summers traveling the world. On one of her adventures, she visited Stellenbosch and Paarl in South Africa, which ignited a lifelong passion for learning about wine. In 2004, she worked as a Wine Consultant for the Traveling Vineyard and began to study wine more intensively. While working as a high tech recruiter, she completed her Advanced Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust in the UK in 2018. Her wine travels have taken her to the wine growing regions of the US, Europe, Africa and Australia. Alison is a member of the Boston Sommelier Society, a member of the Guild of Master Sommeliers and is a Wine, Travel and Lifestyle Media Influencer. Currently, after leaving her recruiting career, Alison is running her business, Artisan Wine Group, teaching wine courses, running private and corporate wine events and organizing wine tours.

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