Despite the controversy over pricing the past couple of years, the en primeur campaign is nonetheless a major annual milestone for the Bordeaux wine industry. The world sits up and pays attention as the Bordelaise release the first glimpse of the latest vintage. For the producers it marks not only the first sales but also a shifting of attention to other vintages. For the wine merchants it marks allocations and of course sales. For consumers, in theory, it allows first access to the rarest wines and a chance to special order any large format bottles. Of course the entire system is predicated on critical ratings, reasonable pricing and good wine. But despite the inherent pitfalls and the “Bordeaux bashing,” the system continues on Continue reading
It’s Sunday and the end of another long four-day weekend. All I can say is I think my liver is happy that it’s finally over. No weekend in France would be complete without visiting at least one cafe for un verre (a glass). But this weekend was a parade of boutielles, soirées and fêtes (bottles, night’s out and parties for the French challenged). I didn’t think it was possible but I think the French party harder than the Brits.
This weekend also brought the implementation of a new personal rule: always bring your umbrella and your sunglasses. Apparently in Bordeaux you don’t know which you are going to need. In fact at one point this weekend I needed both at the same time.
Despite my whinging, it was a great weekend. We were toured around Bordeaux by our new friend and classmate Max. A long time resident of the city, he was full of tips about great bars, cafes and restaurants. And he seems to know everyone.
But it wasn’t all just parties. I spent a little time enjoying some sun in the Jardin Public. I managed to score a ride out to IKEA. I did a little laundry and started looking for flights home for Christmas. I also cleaned the apartment and did a little cooking. I visited the local market and perused the wines at the special event they were hosting. (And yes before you ask, of course I bought a couple bottles). I even managed to get lectured by a rather frightening older lady because I was looking at bottles produced by large enterprises and not small family estates.
Monday our real course work begins, despite another miscommunication about timing – I still haven’t manage to figure out if classes start at 8:15 or 9. So 8:15 it is. And if nothing else I can sip a coffee for 45 minutes and get a little work done.
Truthfully at this point, I’m just excited for our course work to begin. Nothing could be as challenging as the business game. I survived that – I can survive anything. At least I hope I can. But in all honestly, aside from the English class, I’m looking forward to jumping in and getting my feet wet. I’m also looking forward to working with and getting to know more of my classmates.
I leave Tuesday morning at 6:20 in the morning. I have one bag packed. I have a lot of work to do Monday to ensure I can go dark for two days while I travel. I have a doctors appointment as well as several last minute errands. I should have spent today packing and getting ready. Instead I spent today helping my mother prep for a going-away/multi-birthday bash.
And tonight with good food, good wine and good company we celebrated, at Sones Cellars, not only my departure but a slew of big birthdays. 50. 21. 75. 30. It has been a very big year.
“Moving on, is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard”
Despite my complaints about packing, for me the hardest part of moving has always leaving behind awesome people. Colin & Carina. Peter & Jess. The Sones. The Munsons. Jean. June. The list is endless. But tonight’s party gave me a chance to spend a few minutes with each of them. Of course there were faces missing. There were people I would have liked to have seen one more time. And with so many people to talk to – I didn’t get to spend as much time with everyone as I would have liked. But nonetheless I got a chance to say goodbye and go out with a bash.
Thank you to all of the friends and family to came out tonight to lift a glass and celebrate: You will be sorely missed but not forgotten. Cheers to a new adventure!