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How to taste well

The advice of César Compadre (South West), to taste with pleasure and serenity, some rules must be respected concerning the colours of the wines and their power. Without forgetting to eat!

Almost two kilometres from end to end and 10 pavilions offering wines, the Bordeaux festival is of the XXL type. To have a good time there, some traps are to be avoided. At the start, the wine lover will have his pass, giving the right to 11 tastings. It can of course be used by several people. Each glass provided has a marked limit of 5cl: this will be the maximum served by the wine growers and merchants who will be behind the counters (1).

Before tasting the first glass, it is better to have eaten or nibbled, otherwise the alcohol can quickly go to your head. And the tasting will be less pleasant.

Dry and sweet white wines

All along the route, about fifteen "gourmet pavilions" will offer all types of food. Glaciers are also expected in force. In the middle of the tasting, a stop in the shade, under the trees, at the Place des Quinconces, may be an idea. Concerning the colours and types of wine, the crémant is a good way to start as the bubbles will awaken the taste buds. If the heat is there, their freshness will be welcome.

The same goes for rosés, which often prefer the start of the party. If you like dry whites, the offer will be wide: from the Entre-deux-Mers to the Bergeracois. There will indeed be a South-West pavilion, to go beyond the Gironde references alone. Tursan, jurançon, irouleguy or buzet will be represented. And even the Corrèze, a vineyard which has just obtained its AOC. In the sweet and syrupy section (loupiac, monbazillac, cérons...), it is preferable to taste them at the end of the course, unless the desire is really too strong (this is sometimes the case for ladies). At the beginning of the trip, these products can anaesthetize the taste buds a little (it depends on the sugar content).

Reds, at the heart of the game

In our region, the reds are of course at the centre of the game. Within this vast family, it is best to start with the softest and finish with the fullest and strongest. An evolution that allows you to "forge" your palate correctly. As in sport, it is better to start with a 100 m and not to start the marathon right away. The wide range of Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur AOC wines is a good choice to start with, with a stop at the pavilion of well-known brands such as Mouton Cadet and Baron de Lestac. You can then move on to the coasts (blaye, bourg, castillon...), then finally towards the Saint-émilionnais (fronsac, puisseguin, mountain...).

Finish by the Médoc, where the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety, the base of the local bottles, is generally more full-bodied. In the end, if the 11 tastings are carried out by the same amateur, he will be able to consume up to 60cl of wine. Here too, as with eating, it is better to take your time. The party is open until 11pm. There is no hurry. And you can use the pass for several days. The most interesting thing will always be to talk with the producers.

(1) No bottles of wine are sold on the festival site, it is only a question of tasting. It is not a fair.