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texassourdough 05-28-2012 02:53 PM

France...Champagne, Bordeaux, and Bakeries
Just got back from two weeks in France - two days in Paris, one at Versailles, one back in Paris, and then joined up with a tour of Champagne and Bordeaux. The tour was heavy duty and not for wimps, departing the hotels daily around 8 am and returning around 11 pm. In nine days I tasted 181 different wines at a slew of chateaux. including Krug, Dom Perignon, Chateau Margaux, Haut Brion, Pontet Canet, Vieux Chateu Certan, and many more. Lunch and dinner was usually at a chateau with matching wines. Most of the lunches and dinners featured one older wine in the 1996 to 1976 range along with newer wines in the range of 2000 to 2009. After foie gras for dinner and lunch and all that wine for nine days I came home with a few extra pounds. The good news on the calorie front was about half of the wines were barrel samples and after a few of the older wines it got real easy to taste and spit them out! Spitting out the better wines remained a challenge! (My wife and I lucked out on being invited to join this essentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!)

Didn't have much time to hit bakeries but did go to Poilane to try the miche and to Eric Kayser to try his Pane and Baguettes aux Cereales. Both were really impressive. I felt my miche is fairly close to Poilane in quality and I like the look and cereal quality of my Kayser mimic better than his loaves BUT his flour is absolutely amazing. The aftertaste of the loaf was sweet and clean and went on for an hour. I don't think I have ever tasted flour like that! And I clearly cannot reproduce that facet of his loaves!

I was really struck by how tender the crumb was on the Poilane and Kayser loaves. Both are IMO really first class! :)

Now to go into withdrawal and start losing weight again! :(


buckeyebreadman 05-28-2012 04:06 PM

Re: France...Champagne, Bordeaux, and Bakeries
IMPRESSED I am!.......

texassourdough 05-28-2012 04:48 PM

Re: France...Champagne, Bordeaux, and Bakeries
Me too!

I can't believe I was able to get into the tour! We got into places that basically don't accept the public or tours. The tour leader has major buying power. He is a retailer who buys more Bordeaux than almost anyone in the country. And that opened some rather tight doors. Really spoiled my palate though! We had some amazing wines! Probably going to hurt my wallet over time too! Yikes!

buckeyebreadman 05-28-2012 04:52 PM

Re: France...Champagne, Bordeaux, and Bakeries
I had one (1!) chance to tour the French wine regions and work the harvest many years ago but was denied by an inept AAA travel agent who.....well, I won't go into it....
nonetheless.......That is Indeed a trip of a lifetime....and yours, even more so being a limited exposure tour!....congrats!

Faith In Virginia 05-28-2012 06:17 PM

Re: France...Champagne, Bordeaux, and Bakeries
Just look at me...all GREEN with envy. I go to go to France. ;-) But so very cool Jay, glad your back all safe and sound. Time to bake!

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