A Wine Weekend in the Sun

Another weekend with one wine event after another.  On friday evening, after a snoop around the vineyards of Péssac-Léognan, I popped into Bordeaux to take a look at ‘Bordeaux Fête Le Vin’.  It was heaving with visitors, mostly enthusiastic amateurs, and it doesn’t surprise me that some 450,000 are reported to have attended this mammoth wine tasting, spread over four sunny days and warm nights from thursday to sunday.  The event was staged along the recently restored quays along the river Garonne, in the heart of the city and was, from what I could see, a big success.

Some friends who came for our Bauduc Bondholder dinner on saturday night spent more time at the Fête on friday than I did, and they really enjoyed it.  It cost them all of 16 euros for two, including a tasting glass each and more than enough vouchers to enjoy plenty of wine from different stands.  

Here’s Dan (below) proudly holding his keepsake – a handy carry case, complete with the glass inside and a natty shoulder strap.  

Our Bondholder dinner on saturday was a somewhat smaller event, which was lucky because our local chef pulled out at the last minute.  We managed to cobble something together in time, principally by roping Dan and Zella into helping us out in the kitchen in return for a bed for the night.  The dinner was memorable for the lovely, balmy evening, our Bauduc rosé cocktail beforehand and some interesting discourse between an academic, a surgeon, a shipping baron and the UK marketing director for Google. The latter came up with the best suggestion when we discussed what to buy godchildren and grandchildren as presents: domaine names (fullname.coms, not estates in Burgundy) and fine wine for laying down.  Later on, Hugh the surgeon talked about the importance of the Miami Breast Conference, but after too much Trois Hectares 05 red we couldn’t take him too seriously.

Sunday was even hotter and the afternoon was spent with friends in the Graves at a charity wine auction. Sean and Nicky Allison of Château du Seuil generously hosted the event, while I was commandeered to be the wine auctioneer.  This is the second year that organiser Jacqui and her husband Jean-Michel have raised money for the school in the African village of Ya, in Burkina Faso, by getting vineyards to donate a few bottles to be sold off.  Sean and I managed to chisel 13,000 euros out of a willing audience, on top of the raffle and other goodies.  Most of the wine was local, of course, but I came home with 24 expensive half-bottles of Austrian sweet wine after a poor attempt at bouncing bids off non-existent walls.  So if you ever come to Bauduc and are presented with a blind tasting of sweet wines, you could hazard a guess at a Gruner Veltliner Trockenbeerenauslese.  

I slept through most of the Euro final on our return home, nodding off once Torres had nicked what turned out to be the only goal.  Viva España.

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