These past few days I have been traipsing around Bordeaux for Snooth.com, sampling some of the best sweet wines the region has to offer. Long since associated with “dessert” the aim of the trip was to show me and three other wine industry types that sweet Bordeaux wines are much more versatile. In fact, they can and should be paired with many courses throughout a meal from the apéritif on.
I have to say that I started the week more than a bit skeptical that they would achieve their goal, at least with me, as I honestly thought that wines with that much sugar would forever be relegated to courses that occurred at the end of the evening (I was more than willing to concede that sweet wines have a place with cheese).
A funny thing happened on the way to addressing my firmly held biases though. I slowly became a convert. While sweet wines from Bordeaux might not pair perfectly with every meal, they are certainly more dexterous than many believe.
The week started with a visit to La City du Vin, a fantastic, relatively new interactive experience for lovers of wine–from amateurs to aficionados.
Next we drove about 50 kilometers to the lovely Château Campelos in Barsac, which would be our home the entire week. It is a bed and breakfast run by two of the nicest people one could ever hope to meet.
The following morning, it was off to Loupiac and Château du Cros in Loupiac. There, I followed the indefatigable Michel Boyer through the vineyards and my first contact with Noble Rot.
Noble Rot. It’s a good thing.
Sushi with Sweet Bordeaux, this one from Cadillac. Yup, it works!
Loupiac is one of many areas we visited, not named Sauternes, that produces Botrysized sweet wines.
Yup, that’s me, helping out with the harvest.
The “first” vintage of Château de Fargues.
There is much more to Sauternes than Château d’Yquem. This is from a small producer in Basra–and one of my favorites.
And of course, there is Yquem.
We had an incredible lunch with Philippe Lur Saluces at Fargues.
Dinner at Château Giraud.
In the walled town of Cadillac.
The vineyards at harvest seem to be always posing for a picture.