I've been in France since last Saturday as the winner for Europe in the Food & Wine Pairing category of the Millesima Blog Awards, a guest of Millésima for a week to visit the wonderful food and wine reality of Bordeaux. I promised myself I would write a lot more, but I still haven't worked out whether these days in France are passing too slowly or too quickly. On the one hand, I feel like I've been here for ages, so busy is our schedule with visits to Château, tastings for the Primeur of Bordeaux 2016 wines, and moving between wonderful locations to spend the night. Now, for example, I am writing to you sitting at this delightful desk, in my simple but neat, clean and tastefully decorated room at Hotel Le 23 in Sauternes.
We are only here for the night, and in fact it is already past one o'clock. We were late for a dinner that I dare say was perfect, thanks to the wonderful company of the 'host', the technical director of Château Suduiraut, Pierre Montégut. Sympathetic, elegant, cultured... it was a real pleasure to sit next to him and enjoy a well-prepared dinner, with excellent quality ingredients and wines that went from the interesting to the extraordinary.
After having delighted my palate with a homemade foie gras out of the ordinary, thanks to Pierre Montégut's family tradition, having tasted a duck cooked to perfection first on the pan and then finished on the grill, came the icing on the cake: dessert. On Pierre's advice, in fact, I tasted a typical speciality: 'Pain perdu, Caramel à la Fleur de sel, glacé Caramel beurre salé'. Pain perdu is nothing more than an ingenious way to recycle bread, which you 'dip' in a mixture of eggs, flour and sugar and then fry and season to taste. In our case it was presented together with a REAL salted butter ice cream and a caramel that looked more like dolche de leche with a pinch of Fior di sale. The wine pairing was 'superb' as my American colleagues would say: Sauternes Suduiraut 1975 (I mean, I would have been born 10 years later... can you imagine?).
We laughed, joked, talked about wine, Sauternes, Bordeaux... and so many things in a long evening that flew by. Tomorrow, or rather today given the time, is the last 'full' day in France! We have a private visit and exceptional vertical tasting of Sauternes at Chateau Suduiraut with Pierre Montégut, a private tasting and lunch at Château Margaux with Aurélien Valance, one of our three Millésima Blog Awards judges, a tasting of Primeur 2016 at Château La Lagune...
... and then back to "our" extraordinary château, the Château Pichon Baron, where we will do an extraordinary vertical with Mr. Christian Seely, General Manager of Axa Millésimes Group (our sponsors). When we are done, it will be the last night in Bordeaux, and there will be a beautiful Gala Dinner at the château in honour of us winners of the 2017 Millesima Blog Awards... and I think the celebrations will last a very long time indeed.
[here I want to put up a photo of us bloggers with all the thousandth staff... which we will definitely do tomorrow night... so to see it please bear with me a little longer 😉 ]
I would like to thank Millésima from the bottom of my heart for organising everything so perfectly and giving us the opportunity to spend such full and extraordinary days with fantastic, friendly and helpful staff. We drank extraordinary wines, tasted delicious French cuisine... visited landscapes so incredible that for a few moments I thought I had stepped out of a fairy tale!
Finally, I would like to sincerely thank my travelling companions: Agnes Németh, Daniel Ercsey, Lisa Denning, Rob Frish and Jeff Burrows. I really couldn't have asked for better company for this fantastic adventure! Agnes is sweet and friendly, Daniel adorable and of an education that never ceases to amaze me, Lisa has an uncommon energy, Rob is brilliant and Jeff is of rare kindness. Thank you because I have spent wonderful days with you and to think that the day after tomorrow I will be in Italy and you in Hungary, Spain and the USA... well I miss you already.
One of the week's catchphrases was born out of my coffee withdrawal... Daniel found a rap video that fits it perfectly... I'll post it!
[Tweet "In Bordeaux #nowater in the fountain but water in the coffe! #nocoffee ??"]
[Tweet "#nocoffee ??"]
As soon as I return to Italy, get ready for a flood of articles detailing a trip that could not have been more beautiful. (And here's the first tear that drops... I knew it!)
P.S. special thanks to my technical sponsor, Photo Universe for the Sony RX100M4 with which all the photos of the trip were taken, except for the beautiful group photos and the photos of me, which were taken by Frederic Lot of the Millésima staff!