Continued from: Catching My Breath in Bordeaux
Once the crew was suitably refreshed and rejuvenated, we piled back into the Mercedes van and sped off in the lazy afternoon light to Chateau de Bel, another old house located right on the banks of the river. We were met by Anne and Olivier Cazenave, owners of the Chateau. Also, we met Aurelie Dainieras of Chateau Penin. If those Chateaux sound familiar, it's because I've written about their wines before, from Planet Bordeaux virtual tastings.
|The tidal bore races up the river, but not in this shot!
Anyways. The dinner was prepped and served inside the house, so we all made our way inside, through doorways that seemed to have been designed for shorter people than modern-sized humans. That really gives you a sense the age of a place.
During the conversation, amid the laughter and smiles, the skies were beginning a slow churn. Eventually this would culminate in a blustery storm overnight. I'm getting ahead of myself though. We return to the house, at night, crowded into a dimly let room full of warmth and the smell of food. Bloggers and vignerons sitting side by side, discussing food and wine. The setting should sound just about perfect because it was. I recall a little of the food, it was beef, salad, and bread. The wines were red, white, and pink. Everything was delicious.
Various accounts of the French as arrogant and intolerant jerks seem to mainly stem from people who don't make an attempt at speaking the language. I felt our hosts were delighted that I even tried, and while my accent was solid, my lack of vocabulary was a glaring issue, at least in my mind.
Fast forward back out to that Mercedes van and the trip to our hotel for the night. By now the wind was whipping around like crazy, and every so often a few seconds of rain would beat down from the skies. We tired, jet-lagged bloggers quickly retrieved room keys and retired for what was hoped would be a cozy, restful night. I'm proud of myself for hydrating before bed, as the wakeup call came around 7am. Something about these blogger trips and early mornings. I don't get it!