Tasting at the Top!
01 March 2020
Tasting at the Top! Etc Magazine March 2020
Have you ever wondered what the top Bordeaux wines taste like, those which sell at over a hundred euros per bottle – and more? Well now your curiosity can be satisfied. Max Bordeaux is ready to educate your palate, without the need for taking out a second mortgage. Tucked away down a gallery off one of the main streets of the city of Bordeaux, Cours de l’Intendance, Max Bordeaux offers a tasting experience like no other. Using an array of the latest high-tech tasting equipment, wines such as Clos Fourtet 2015 Premier Grand Cru Classé Saint Emilion, or Chateau Montrose 2011 Saint Estephe Grand Cru Classé, are all available to taste.
The cost of tasting samples varies from one euro to thirty-five euros for a 2.5cl portion, depending on the wine and the vintage. The Oenomatic tasting machines are operated by a form of credit card, purchased at Max Bordeaux and ‘credited’ with as much or as little as the visitor wishes to spend. Three different portion sizes are available with prices varying accordingly, from the self-serve machines.
The establishment was created in 2009 by the Norwegian Henning Thoresen, who wished to make the Grand Cru Classé wines available to all, for both tasting and by the glass. A unique and innovative concept, in an ultra-modern setting, more than 45 Great Bordeaux wines are accessible by the tasting sample, or by the glass. Latour, Margaux, Cheval Blanc, Mouton Rothschild, Chateau d’Yquem, can all be sampled, although the range changes frequently.
For the best tasting experience of the World Class wines of Bordeaux, take a city break to one of the World’s wine capitals. The majestic port city of Bordeaux in south-west France is the perfect place for a three- or four-night break for wine lovers, or lovers of all kinds come to that. This iconic, romantic city has been transformed in recent years, with a massive clean-up of the stately buildings and the introduction of a modern tram network which has taken nearly all the traffic out of the city centre.
Easily accessible from Gatwick with BA or Easyjet, an autonomous wine tasting trip to Bordeaux can be easily achieved, sampling some of the best wines in the world without even leaving the fabulous city itself. With a vast selection of restaurants, wine-bars and other eateries, lunch or dinner is never a problem, all naturally serving a good selection of the local wines.
For total immersion in Bordeaux culture, lunch at La Brasserie Bordelaise on Rue Saint Remi is a must. A real ‘institution’, the clientele is a mix of tourists and locals, in an authentic and lively atmosphere, the walls lined with bottles of Bordeaux wines. Part of the Maison Lascombes group of 8 restaurants in the Bordeaux region, their ‘raison d’etre’ can be summed up by a quote from the epicurean Auguste Escoffier ‘To make something good, you need to make something really good’. With a list of over a hundred Bordeaux wines, with a dozen or so by the glass at very reasonable prices and a total range of hundreds of wines, a visit to La Brasserie Bordelaise is ‘un vrai bonheur’!
A whole host of other possibilities exist to increase your knowledge and wine tasting experience of Bordeaux wines, without leaving the confines of this beautiful city. Several wine producing Chateaux are accessible by efficient public transport -bus or tram. Chateau Picque Caillou, Chateau Pape Clement, Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion and Château Luchey Halde, all are within easy striking distance of the city centre, without the need of a hire car. Alternatively, take the Urban Wine Trail – the Wine Bar Route! Twenty different Wine Bars around the city, all with special offers to enable tasting of a selection of Bordeaux wines. A challenging and rewarding experience.