When you feel like a good whine…

Sorry – I actually meant wine!  I just returned from Bordeaux in France and there is nothing to whine about with this destination.  Just a wonderful week of wine tasting, food tasting, wine and food pairing and much more.  The area is just full of the cutest chateaux surrounded by vineyards.
Over this time of year of course the weather is not the most brilliant – that would be the only whine I could think of.  The benefit was however that nowhere was crowded as you can see from this photo taken in Bergerac.  Pack for the weather, remember good boots and a great raincoat.  My best friend was my Tilley waterproof hat which went everywhere with me.

Seeing this part of the world was easy on a river cruise.  I travelled with Uniworld and it was interesting for me to sail on them as I have in the past sailed on Viking and AMAWaterways and have been on board Avalon.  There is a river cruise company out there to suit every need and every budget.  It’s just a question of speaking to an expert.

The area is very quaint and abounds with lots of cute bed and breakfasts like this one.

Or you can do it in style as I did (and there is no whine here, believe me) with Uniworld River Cruises in this beautiful stateroom.  Oh my goodness the linens on these beds were amazing – so soft.
The staff were so helpful and a major part of my enjoyment on this cruise was the fact that gratuities are included so obviously the staff are well paid and not chasing you all the time just for a tip.  They were gracious and knowledgeable – especially when it  came to the area, the wine, the food and top class hospitality.

The best thing ever about doing a river cruise is that you get into your room and unpack and then cruise the countryside with beautiful views from your window.

And if you don’t feel like wine you can always go cognac tasting.  This area of France is where you find Cognac and only brandies produced in this part are allowed to be called Cognac.  We made the trip out to Remy Martin and did some sampling –

This was just before I knocked over my glass.  Oh my goodness – how embarrassing.   They were very gracious however – especially after I bought a rather expensive bottle of Remy Martin XO.  Every wonder what those initials mean – VS, VSOP and XO.  Quite simple really – Very Superior, Very Superior Production and Extra Old.  Not quite what I expected – I thought that they would stand for some throat gargling French word.

So my only whine ……umm – actually nothing to whine about.  I had a wonderful time and now I am home and as Dorothy said “There’s no place like home”.

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

1 comment

  1. Not everyone knows about the Cognac country. It is like a coin with 2 sides : one side is the trading houses that market 95 % of all cognacs but own 5% of the vineyards. The other side is the family estates that own 95% of the vineyards, that distill wines, but market 5% of cognacs : their family reserves.
    Want to know more and experience the Cognac country : stay at http://www.relais-de-saint-preuil.com , guest mansion in the heart of the vineyards.


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