Categorized | France, General

Bordeaux Wine Experience

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

A fun Masterclass on Grand Cru tasting kicks off our Bordeaux Wine Tours

A Personal Note From Ronald,

We are right in the middle of our Spring Bordeaux Wine Tours and I just wanted to share with you the great fun we’re having. And more importantly: our guest are having a ball as well.

We received such great people on our tours, some of them first-timers and others that had been with us before. One couple were on their third tour and I wouldn’t be surprised if they will show up for a fourth experience with us.

Difficult to put into words

Over the Farewell dinner last week one of our guests asked us: "How can we explain this experience to our friends that haven’t been here?"

I will try and delve deeper into this question in this issue of the Magazine.

Almost as important as wine

In France bread is almost as important as wine. Margaret will amaze you with some staggering statistics about bread consumption in France. She will teach you the ropes on the different ways bread is used and she will share one of her recipes with you in this magazine.

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Ronald and Margaret have been looking forward

to the start of their 2019 Wine Tour-season

Last rooms on our

2019 Bordeaux Harvest Tours
The Bordeaux Harvest Tour may well be the most spectacular tour we offer, with meals as exceptional as your visits. The most exciting time in Bordeaux is harvest time. You can sense the anticipation in the air. Experiencing the wineries in full harvest swing ads a very special touch to these tours. The good news is that we still have some rooms available, so check out this exclusive Harvest Tour here and join us in tasting all five First Growths and Superior First Growth Chateau d’Yquem! And many of them will be older vintages!

Carefree touring Bordeaux

And remember: we know what you want: a carefree and truly effortless wine vacation in Bordeaux where fun is a prominent factor. We take care of everything, really everything! Each of our Bordeaux Wine Tours includes tastings of the iconic five First-Growths Château Latour, Lafite Rothschild, Mouton-Rothschild, Haut-Brion and Margaux plus the legendary Yquem, along with château-accommodation and exclusive meals in venues not open to the public.

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

The Bordeaux Harvest Tour,

the most spectacular tour we offer

Always a pleasure hearing from you

Your feedback helps me a lot. So keep sending me your comments : Ronald@bxwinex.com. Thanks for your help.

Ronald and Margaret love welcoming you

in Bordeaux

And please remember: don’t drink anything I wouldn’t drink!

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Cheers from Bordeaux,
Ronald Rens, M. Sc., Wine Master
Wine writer and President

The Bordeaux Wine Experience

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How to describe an experience?

By Ronald Rens

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Cooking together: a wine-soaked team-building experience

How to describe an experience?
A wine tour obviously consists of hardware. By hardware I mean elements like the wines we taste and the chateaux we visit. And of course the awesome meals and special visits, plus all other ingredients that come into play. These elements are important and fairly easy to describe. And yet, true experiences remain rare.

Thirteen-a-dozen

Wine tours nowadays are thirteen-a-dozen, but when becomes a tour an experience? Why do people leave us with tears in their eyes because their tour is over? Why do they come back and do the same tour for a second or third time or even a fourth time?

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Great fun on the Bordeaux Grand Cru our

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Mouton Rothschild 2011 and Yquem 1990 on

last week’s Grand Cru Tour

Why is it when guests come back to us we feel like seeing long lost friends again? Not just for for them but for Margaret and myself as well?

How to explain this to friends
On last week’s Farewell dinner one of our return-guests asked at the dinner table: "How can we explain this experience to our friends that haven’t been here?" Nobody could find the right words. And yet all guests vowed to be back, some of them even as early as next year.

Asked if I could find the right words, I drew a blank as well. And I am not usually lost for words…

Something special

At first I thought it was the aforementioned hardware. Those key-components  like staying at a chateau, the great wines and superb meals in venues not open to the public and exclusive chateau access. And yes, the Chateau-meals and tasting all five First Growths, many of them older vintages are unique adventures.

And although our guests love these ingredients it is not this what makes them come back time after time again.

Something special is happening on our tours, usually right from the start. We normally get people on our tours that don’t know each other before joining the tour. And yet as soon as the first night, on the masterclass under my lead, the bonding commences.

A bit of an X-factor

Margaret and I are as much a part of the tour experience as the wines, the chateaux and the meals. I am reluctant to put the accent on ourselves but honestly this is what our guests say to us over and over again.

Like in the words of Rachel and Greg on last week’s Bordeaux Grand Cru Tour:

What a great trip! We loved every minute. The food and wine were simply amazing. But the best part: the two of you!

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Bonding in the Chateau kitchen

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Some highlights on last week’s Grand Cru Tour: Latour 1998 vs Haut Brion 1998 and Lafite Rothschild 1985 vs Margaux 1985

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Everybody pitches in at the cooking experience

Third tour

Even after three tours people are still excited.

Just read the words of Brent and Lisbeth after their third tour with us last week:

“There is an English adage that says: “The third time’s a charm.” However the first and the second times for us were charming too. I could fill this page with details that made this trip wonderful, but the two of you really made the trip for us. We love you.”

New friends
It is true -and in our opinion unique- that after a tour, we don’t say goodbye to guests or clients but to real friends. And this is as special for us as it is for our guests!

Team-building

Margaret’s cooking event on the Grand Cru tour is not just a cooking class. It is an incredible wine-soaked team-building experience where we all have so much fun that it remains one of the unbeatable highlights on our tours.

An exceptional and memorable vacation

Maybe that’s why Paul wrote the following comments after last week’s Grand Cru Tour:

“What an amazing week. It far exceeded even my very high expectations. Your kindness, generosity, humor, hospitality and enthusiasm are greatly appreciated. Ronald’s teaching and intelligent humorous dialogues were the icing on the cake of fabulous wines plus food. Margaret’s cooking class was one of many highlights that made this week an exceptional and memorable vacation. I’m looking forward to next time!”

Don’t miss out

What other words can I possibly add? I think you’ll have to experience the difference yourself. We have a few spots for the 2019 Bordeaux Grand Cru Harvest Tour available or else you can join us next year. Don’t miss out and ask us to send you an Itinerary. Do it now! My promise? You wont regret it!

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

We love what we do and it shows…

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

The wines tasted on the Farewell dinner on last week’s Grand Cru Tour

Join our 2019 Bordeaux Harvest Wine Tours

_____________________________________________________________________

The Bordeaux Grand Cru Harvest Tour I

September 9 – Sept 14, 2019

Last room available: just one double room

Ask Itinerary here

The Bordeaux Grand Cru Harvest Tour II

September 23 – Sept 28, 2019

Last rooms available

Ask Itinerary here

The Bordeaux Grand Cru Harvest Tour III

October 7 – October 12, 2019

Last rooms available

Ask Itinerary here

_____________________________________________________________________

10 excellent reasons to join the Bordeaux Harvest Tour in September or October

1.
Carefree and truly effortless travel in Bordeaux: We take care of everything, really everything!

2.
See and taste all 5 First Growths and Château d’Yquem!

3.
Grand Cru wines with all meals (except breakfast…)!

4.
Private gourmet meals at Bordeaux Chateaux and in a famous Michelin-starred restaurant!

5.
Superb food & wines and great fun in a small group!

6.
Expert (and humorous) guidance by Bordeaux Specialist Ronald Rens!

7.
An entertaining concise cooking class!

8.
Air-conditioned accommodation at our privately owned 18th century chateau!

9.  Air-conditioned, luxury motor coach transportation throughout the tour!

10.Grand Cru Farewell Dinner with all Grand Cru wines (including Margaux,

  Lafite Rothschild + Superior First Growth Yquem of over 20 years old!).

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Sipping First Growths at the Farewell dinner at Chateau Coulon Laurensac is one of

many highlights on our Bordeaux Wine Tours

Breaking bread together

By Margaret Rens

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Margaret is simply in love with the delicious French bread

Almost as important as wine…

Don’t start a conversation with a Frenchman about food if you only have 10 minutes to spare. The topic is so close to the French hearts they can literarily talk for hours on end about food and wine. And one of the most favourite subjects of food and wine conversations is bread.
We have all seen the stereotype picture of a French man or woman with a black beret and a baguette. And there is good reason for this stereotyping. Every second, 320 baguettes are eaten in France. That is more than six billion baguettes per year in France alone!

A daily pleasure

Nine out of 10 French people go to the bakery every day to buy their baguettes. It is not uncommon that people will go to a bakery that is further from home because they believe that this specific baker bakes better baguettes than the one closer by. I also drive a few extra miles to our neighboring village to buy my daily baguettes. And I often start munching a piece of bread on my way back, when the baguettes are still warm from the oven!

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Bread is a daily pleasure in France

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Different breads for different purposes

Different breads for different purposes

Baguettes are versatile and can be found on the table for any meal. In the morning, for breakfast, you will cut a large chunk that you slice open lengthwise. Each thus obtained tartine (bread slice) is then spread with butter and jam or honey to taste. Then follows the curious ceremony of “tremper”, dunking your tartine in a cup of café au lait (coffee and cream). This is the reason why in France you’ll find a large bowl for coffee or tea on the breakfast table and not a cup – because you can’t dunk your tartine in a cup!

For lunch and dinner, a baguette or another type of bread is again present on the table. This time it will be cut in large chunks. It is considered very impolite to start eating your bread before any other food is served. You use the bread to wipe up any leftover sauce and you eat it with the cheese.

Subtile etiquette

You place your piece of bread on the table at the upper left-hand side of your plate. It is not customary to find a special bread plate at your setting. In a chic restaurant you may find bread plates, but never at the family table.

No buter

There will be no butter served with the bread, except again in a very formal restaurant. To eat the bread, you are supposed to tear off small bits with your hands. It is a "faux pas" to use a knife to cut it.

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Use you fingertips to push holes

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

A rustic flat bread from the Provence region

Why not bake your own

I adore the smell of home-baked bread in my kitchen. One of my favorite French breads to bake at home is Fougasse (pronounced fo-gahs-se), a rustic flat bread from the Provence-region.
This is a hearty bread suitable for a simple lunch or dinner. It tastes great served with soup or with spreads and dips as an aperitif. It is important to use a good quality of extra virgin olive oil for making this bread, as it is from this that the Fougasse gets its flavor.

A dry crisp rosé from Provence will be the perfect pairing.

Fougasse recipe

Ingredients
500 gr flour
12 gr sugar
7 gr salt
20 gr extra virgin olive oil

300 gr fresh water
25 gr fresh yeast or 1 package of dried yeast
2 tablespoons of chopped thyme and rosemary leaves
Extra olive oil
Flaky salt – like Maldon

Preparation

Place the first six ingredients in a mixing bowl in the order stated. Knead the dough by hand or in a freestanding mixer with a dough hook for about 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with cling foil and place in a warm spot to rise to double its size. After about 30 minutes take the dough out and transfer to a well-floured surface. Add the herbs and knead by hand for a minute and roll or stretch out to the size of your baking tray.
Grease the baking tray or pan with a generous amount of olive oil. Place the dough in the pan or tray and let the dough rise again for about 30 minutes to double in size again.

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Adding some olives can give an Italian touch to your fougasse

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Using a sharp knife or scissors slice one vertical and 8 to 10 horizontal slashes in the dough before you sprinkle salt on the top. Drizzle more oil. Instead of slicing the dough I like using my fingertips to push holes in it. I realize that makes my Fougasse look more like its Italian cousin Focaccia, but I believe it is prettier.

The Fougasse needs to bake for only about 30 minutes. For a simple tasteful lunch, I will place some cherry tomatoes in a shallow dish and drizzle with olive oil and bake them for 20 minutes in a hot oven. Once they come out I sprinkle them with some salt and rosemary. These tomatoes make a great accompaniment for the Fougasse. I also use this dough for a pizza-base. I just roll it out thinly after the first rising, top with my favorite ingredients and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes.

Bonne degustation!

Discover our 2020 Bordeaux Wine Tour Program

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Great fun on the masterclass on the first night on our Bordeaux Wine Experiences

2020 Bordeaux Wine Tour Schedule

The Grand Tour of Bordeaux

May 25 – May 30, (2020)

Open for booking

Ask Itinerary here

The Grand Cru Tour I

June 8 – June 13, 2020

Last 2 rooms available (one double and one single room)

Ask Itinerary here

The Grand Cru Tour II

June 22 – June 27, 2020

Open for booking

Ask Itinerary here

_____________________________________________________________________

The Bordeaux Grand Cru Harvest Tour I

September 7 – Sept 12, 2020

Open for booking

Ask Itinerary here

The Bordeaux Grand Cru Harvest Tour II

September 21 – Sept 26, 2020

Open for booking

Ask Itinerary here

The Bordeaux Grand Cru Harvest Tout III

October 5 – October 10, 2020

Open for booking

Ask Itinerary here

_____________________________________________________________________

10 excellent reasons to join a Bordeaux Wine Experience

1.
Carefree and truly effortless travel in Bordeaux: We take care of everything, really everything!

2.
See and taste all 5 First Growths and Château d’Yquem!

3.
Grand Cru wines with all meals (except breakfast…)!

4.
Private gourmet meals at Bordeaux Chateaux and in a famous Michelin-starred restaurant!

5.
Superb food & wines and great fun in a small group!

6.
Expert (and humorous) guidance by Bordeaux Specialist Ronald Rens!

7.
An entertaining concise cooking class!

8.
Air-conditioned accommodation at our privately owned 18th century chateau!

9.  Air-conditioned, luxury motor coach transportation throughout the tour!

10.Grand Cru Farewell Dinner with all Grand Cru wines (including Margaux,

   Lafite Rothschild + Superior First Growth Yquem of over 20 years old!).

Because you deserve a Bordeaux Wine Experience and not "just a tour"

The Bordeaux Grand Cru Harvest Tour
The Harvest Tour is Grand in every way, both in food and wine. Enjoy chateau meals and Michelin rated dining. The most exciting time in Bordeaux is harvest time. You can sense the anticipation in the air.

And the food is superb as well: Exclusive meals at extraordinary venues not normally open to the public. On top of that you’ll see and taste all five First Growths and Superior First Growth Chateau d’Yquem and many of them will be older vintages!

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Experience Bordeaux in full harvest swing

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Enjoy meals in venues not open to the public while tasting

the best wines of Bordeaux

The Bordeaux Grand Cru tour
This is probably our most exclusive tour. This ultimate wine tour for Bordeaux lovers is as good as it gets. Can you believe that you’ll see and taste all five First Growths and Superior First Growth Chateau d’Yquem including some older vintages! Of course we include the best of Saint Emilion and Pomerol as well. Add to this outstanding meals at exceptional venues not normally open to the public and you’ll see why this tour usually sells out early.

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

The Grand Tour of Bordeaux
The Grand Tour may be the most special tour we offer, with meals as exceptional as your visits. Imagine tasting all five First Growths and Yquem. And there is more: Superb chateau meals and Michelin rated dining… Add to this the best of Pomerol and Saint Emilion and you’ll see that this dazzling Grand Tour of Bordeaux is your chance to see and taste the very best that Bordeaux has to offer.

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Feel completely Special and Pampered on this Exclusive Experience

 Bordeaux Wine Experience

Chateau Coulon Laurensac, without a doubt the best place in the world to taste all five First Growths plus Yquem…

The Bordeaux Wine Experience
at Chateau Coulon Laurensac
1, chemin de Meydieu
33360 Latresne (BORDEAUX), France

Website : www.BXWINEX.com

Call us:

1-877-203-2665 (toll free from USA & Canada) or
+33 556 20 64 12 (from anywhere else in the world)

(These lines go directly to our Chateau in Bordeaux so please remember that we’re on Paris time!)

Copyright 2019 by The Bordeaux Wine Experience. All rights reserved. The content, design and graphical elements of this Magazine are copyrighted. The Bordeaux Wine Experience is a Dutch company specializing in wine and culinary tours in the Bordeaux region for an English speaking international clientele.

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