Corks and Forks

Countdown to Bordeaux: The 2016 Rusty Grape Vineyards river cruise

This time next Saturday I’ll be mingling with other guests aboard the Viking Forseti as we anticipate our week-long journey on a Bordeaux river cruise (identical longship to the one shown here with the beautiful Bavarian town of Passau, Germany in the background).

This time next Saturday I’ll be dining with other guests aboard the Viking Forseti as we anticipate our week-long journey on a Bordeaux river cruise (identical longship to the one shown here with the beautiful Bavarian town of Passau, Germany in the background).

This time next Saturday (factoring in the nine hour time difference) I’ll be dining with other guests aboard the Viking Forseti as we anticipate a week-long journey along the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers in the heart of the famed Bordeaux wine region.

Along with owners, Jeremy and Heather Brown, I am one of 24 passengers fortunate enough to be a part of this inaugural Rusty Grape Vineyard group (Heather and cruise planner, Lori Nelson, are already mapping out their 2017 river cruise but that’s another story for another day).

Dinner in a château in the famed Bordeaux town of Pauillac is just one of the many exciting features of the eight-day Bordeaux river cruise that Rusty Grape owners, Jeremy and Heather, will escort a group on in April of 2016. Viking River Cruises.

Dinner in a château in the famed Bordeaux town of Pauillac is just one of the many exciting features of the impending eight-day Bordeaux river cruise with Rusty Grape owners, Jeremy and Heather Brown.

Over the course of eight days we’ll have an intimate look into some of the picturesque villages that dot the banks of these two rivers which meet up to form the Gironde estuary before heading out to the Atlantic Ocean. As such, its maritime influence is the ideal climate for wines simply known in this region as Bordeaux.

For those who are unfamiliar with what grapes go into a bottle of Bordeaux or Bordeaux-style wines, allow me to demystify the generalization.  Merlot dominates the Right Bank (aka la Rive Droite) while Cabernet Sauvignon is king on the Left Bank (aka la Rive Gauche). As in America, these two wines benefit from one another when blended together—a prime example of synergy.

Cabernet Sauvignon’s high acid and tannin levels have given it its reputation as the perfect steak wine but without some of the more nuanced characteristics found in Merlot, it can be just another obnoxious party crasher. Merlot’s more velvety mouth feel and approachability gains vino fans a little more easily but without the intoxicating aromatics of Cabernet Sauvignon, it can be just another lackluster Hollywood starlet. Grown under the right conditions and guided by the hands of an expert vintner, each varietal can shine on its own and be elevated with the addition of just the right percentage of the other.

Rusty Grape’s Bordeaux river cruise allows passengers to spend time in the heart of one of the most famed wine regions in the world and be able to sample the cabernet sauvignon-merlot blend that made it so by the unique characteristics found along the Left and Right Banks. Viking River Cruises

Come along with me as I post about my Bordeaux river cruise experience as one of a 24-person group led by Rusty Grape Vineyard owners, Jeremy and Heather Brown. Viking River Cruises

Come along with me as I post about our time in the city of Bordeaux—an UNESCO World Heritage Site; Cadillac—a fortified town where we’ll delve a bit into some sweet Sauternes; Libourne—founded in 1270 and host to one of the area’s largest fresh food markets; Bourg—where I’ll be joining a tour to Cognac for some brandy-tasting; Blaye—another UNESCO World Heritage Site with a 17th-century citadel as its crown jewel; and Pauillac—home to Cab Sauvs known the world over including Châteaux Lafite Rothschild.

It’s sure to be a grand week of premium wine-tasting, exquisite food, unbelievable views and stellar company.

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Viki

Viki

I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

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