The Bordeaux Adventures

After wandering through Paris for three days, we caught another Blablacar rideshare to Bordeaux, capital of one of France’s most famous wine regions!  The small city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, fun university town, and a great place to depart for a wine tour to the surrounding countryside.  It also has the longest pedestrian-only street in Europe!  The surrounding streets also prohibit cars, so it’s a great place to walk around freely, stopping at any of the myriad shops and bars.

Ancient architecture with modern train
Ancient architecture with a modern train system

Bordeaux-6

Basilica de Ste. Michel
Basilica de Ste. Michel

We didn’t end up forking over the cash for an official tour because we had heard there were many opportunities to taste the local offerings at the many wine bars in town.  That was true; although we couldn’t find anywhere that actually did small 1-2oz tastings, there were always many local glasses on the menus.  The first night in Bordeaux we did a blind tasting of two different reds from nearby and I guessed mine correctly- Cab Sav!  It was massive and tannic.  Zach’s merlot was also great.  The highlight though, was the best cheese board I’ve ever had in my life!  We got cream cheese, goat cheese, brie, and camembert.  “Oh la la,” indeed!  I never truly understood cheese until I went to France.  My waistline, however, is not appreciating this newfound understanding.  Oh well, Europe is not the place for diets, I keep telling myself.

Bordeaux-4
Very happy Zach
Best cheese in the world
Best cheese in the world
Cheesy paradise
Cheesy paradise

On our second day in Bordeaux we wandered around a bit more, tasted some more wine, had a wine and cheese picnic, walked through a huge and beautiful park, and made some friends at Grizzly Bar, a Quebecois bar with a delicious hefeweizen on special–Edelweiss from Germany.  All in all, the town was very nice and mellow, while still having enough entertainment for two days.  Next time I’m sure we’ll explore the surrounding villages more, as we definitely got our palates excited about Bordeaux varietals!

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Ensenada, Mexico. Our first stop down the Baja.

Baja Wine Country

Before this trip we had only been to one town in Baja California.  Slimy and shady,  Tijuana is a close stop for some cheap food and drinks but not very exciting unless you’re into drugs and hookers.  Ensenada was surprisingly different.  We crossed into Mexico at Tecaté where we didn’t even need to wait in line, nor talk to anyone about coming into the country.  We drove through the Valle de Guadalupe, beautiful Baja wine country.  The only wine region in Mexico, the vino there was AMAZING.  We first stopped at Vinos Lechuza, whose owner, Ray Magnusen, Zach had met through work in San Diego.  After we had a whole tasting of Lechuza’s magnificent wines (some of the best in Baja wine country), Ray gave us a whole second round straight out of his aging barrels, showed us around the area a little bit, and took us to Michelin-starred chef Drew Deckman’s new popup restaurant right across the road.  Deckman’s setup was incredible and totally changed our views on what gourmet dining can look like!

Deckmans in Baja Wine Country
Picnic-chic restaurant with a view! Wish we could have stayed for dinner!

The Valle de Guadalupe had really taken off in the last few years with more and more places opening every season.

That evening we made our way to Ensenada town, only a 15-20min drive from the Ruta del Vino.  The city has everything you need but isn’t super big and obnoxious.   We ate some awesome tacos and tasted more vino.  It was a nice spot to walk around and, to say again, awesomely different from Tijuana.  We stayed at the Ensenada Inn, which was nice and quiet and had a good place to park our car.

We only spent one night, but since its so close to our home in San Diego, we hope to make it down to Ensenada again for a weekend in the near future.  Click here to check out day 2 of our Baja road trip adventure!

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