Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ooh la la!

Where to start? With the flight delay, tons of angry people waiting to start their long weekend, the 2 gate changes (3 for J&D), or Ryanair's craptacularly traumatic landing?
Or the visit to my future home and gardens? :)

I can definitely recommend a visit to Chateau Chenonceau, it's soo pretty.

Bordeaux is a great city. The city's people have invested tons of money into restoring its beauty and making it a place you'll enjoy staying in. Funnily enough, I came home with 2 bottles of Sauternes instead of any Bordeaux reds. Mmmm... sweet dessert wine... Despite
the never ending fat raindrops which seemed determined to ruin our long weekend, we saw quite a bit of the region, drank, ate and slept a lot. Well, the passengers slept a lot *grin* My advise is to never get your driver's licence in order to avoid ever being the designated driver on road trips :P We spent Sunday walking around Bordeaux and St Emillion.

Napoleon commissioned the bridge, but I don't think he lived to see it completed...

I guess the best part for me was the cognac tasting in Cognac :) I'm definitely not a connoisseur, but somehow I was convinced by D to splash out on tasting X.O, the Paradis and the Richard Hennessy cognacs. D makes a great salesman :) But I'm glad I did taste all three. It's not often I get to say I drank something that was 200 years old *grin* It was definitely wasted on me though :P The only thing I could discern was that each tasted smoother than the previous. Did I like the taste? Err, not particularly... it burns. Sorry!

Random cognac factoids:
- Although Hennessy cognac has been around for a very long time, not many Frenchies drink it. Err, mainly because it's not French. Hennessy is Irish :)

- In 1971, Hennessy merged with Moet et Chandon. In 1987, the group then merged with Louis Vuitton, to create the largest luxury goods business: LVMH.
- Cognac is made from a blend of various eau-de-vie (colourless brandy). 12 kgs of grapes makes one 1 litre bottle of eau-de-vie.
- VS stands for Very Special, and requires the youngest brandy to be aged for at least 2 years.
- VSOP stands for Very Special Old Pale, and requires the youngest brandy to be aged for at least 4 years.
- X.O stands for Extra Old, and requires the youngest brandy to be aged for at least 6 years.
- Richard Hennessy is named after the founder of Hennessy Cognac. The blends are aged between 45 and 200 years old. A 700ml bottle will set you back EU$1281.25.
- The ultimate job at Hennessy, has to be the Cellar Master. It's his duty to take inventory of all the blends in Hennessy's 45 cognac houses. He has to TASTE every different blend, and decide if the brandies need a new barrel, or if it needs to be mixed with other blends, or if the blends are ready. He has a team of six Tasters, but The Man, has the final say.

Lastly, there's the Ellipse. This one's not for plebs. At a price of EU$3000+, it's made from 7 different blends chosen by 7 generations of Cellar Masters. Each Cellar Master picked his favourite eau-de-vie for this special cognac. Only 100 bottles were made, and even the bottle itself is a work of art. Although, you can't really tell from my crap picture *grin*


Mike said...



I hate you.

You have such a good eye for taking photos :(


reenie said...

*lol* I own a Mac, and use iPhoto. It's all about digital adjustments ;) My pix turn out quite blurry and washed out most of the time. It'd be interesting to own a flashier camera and see if it makes any difference to my shots.