After the success of Apero Vintage (that we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy two seasons of in Belgium), Bordeaux has created “Bordeaux Experiences” – a new concept for its evenings aimed at rejuvenating its image and bringing wine to the younger wine drinkers.
On 10th December I was part of a group of Belgian bloggers to be invited to the launch event held at the L’Olypmia in Paris in collaboration with Radio Nova to see just what these new soirees are all about.
Just through the door we were greeted by a guy with brandishing a notebook and a handful of coloured bracelets. A few funny questions later (are you sweet as a lamb? secretive as a cat?) we were told which group our personalities corresponded to – dry white, sweet white, red or rosé - and given a bracelet which would ensure our pass out at the end of the evening.
Olympia’s Gallery was crammed with fellow bloggers, journalists and the wine-loving hip of Paris – a considerable achievement considering the freezing temperatures outside and the fact it was a Monday.
Along the walls were tables where wine producers – arranged by theme (white, rose, red and sweet) – were eager to pour us a glass and tell us more about their wines. Simple nibbles were also on the table to make sure the wine didn’t get the better of us : cured ham and brie for the reds, chorizo for the rosés, crayfish for the whites and foie gras for the sweets).
Working our way down the gallery, we came into the foyer where a DJ from Radio Nova was playing tunes to get the night underway. In a corner, artists from SkinJackin were busy putting their creativity to work to painting event-goers with pictures of their wine group (secretive cats, sweet sheep). Busy experimenting with the rosés in the upper bar, we were then whisked off by Benoit from l’Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux into the Billiards room for a VIP Tasting session. A stunning room, normally not open to the public, small groups of winelovers were taking advantage of the comfy sofas to rest their feet and exchange musings over the wines.
After working our way through the selection of dry whites, rosés and reds (served with a delicious duck gratin) we were off to try the sweet whites (I have a bit of a penchant for the sweet whites from Bordeaux – and funnily enough I had the bracelet to show it). A few glasses later, we were then onto the cocktail bar to wrap the night up.
Definitely shaken and not stirred were the Bordeaux Sureau (made with Clairet or rosé, elderflower syrup and lime), Piña Bordeaux (dry white wine, pineapple and strawberries), Bordeaux Pepper (red wine, red current jam and pepper) and Etche Bordeaux (Sweet Bordeaux, Piment d’Espelette, mango and Crémant). Interesting and unusual – especially the Bordeaux Pepper that added a bit of spice to the night!
At 1am it was time to go home, for us the event was over but this was just the start. In 2013 Bordeaux Experiences will be back in a number of hip bars across Paris and a number of French major cities.