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Mascarets et la Levrette in Bordeaux (Tidal Bores & Doggy-Style)

by Nannette Eaton on January 31, 2012

“In true education, anything that comes to our hand is as good as a book: the prank of a pageboy, the blunder of a servant, a bit of table talk – they are all part of the curriculum.” — Michel de Montaigne

Travel itself is education. Venturing forth from the tried and true, the staid comforts home, entering places where the customs, traditions and language is unfamiliar. And sometimes you travel halfway around the world and find the same merry pranksters.

After our arrival in Bordeaux, we freshened up and had a snack of cheese, charcuterie and wine at Château Pay la Tour, we headed off to dinner at Château Sainte Barbe.

Château Sainte Barbe is a beautiful home built by Jean-Baptiste Lynch, the Mayor of Bordeaux in the early 19th century. Situated on the Right Bank of the Garonne, about 13 miles north of Bordeaux on the peninsula of Ambès, The estate has 74 acres of vineyards and 250 acres of gardens and undeveloped land. Purchased in 2000 by former coffee, cocoa and vanilla bean broker Antoine Touton, the estate had fallen into disrepair. Antoine and his wife Lucy have restored the château and the estate to its former glory.

When we arrived, it was just before sunset, and we watched the sun retire as we observed the Mascaret on the Garonne. In English it’s called a tidal bore, (which is a bit of a vulgar name, so let’s call it Mascaret to be chic) which is a relatively unusual phenomenon where the incoming tide forms waves that travel up the river in opposition to the river’s current. Surfers sometimes ride the waves, but since none of us brought wetsuits, instead, we quaffed a white Bordeaux and a rosé while enjoying some crawfish harvested from the Garonne in front of the estate as we watched a glowing sunset on a warm fall evening.

We had the privilege of dining with Laetitia Mauriac who just launched the Château la Levrette brand, as well a being a member of the Mahler-Besse family. We enjoyed wines from Château Sainte Barbe and Château la Levrette, the full list of the awesome wines we drank is covered in a wrap up by Laetitia on the Château la Levrette website. The label of Château la Levrette is a greyhound (the translation of greyhound in French is la levrette) and the greyhound was selected for the elegance, gracefulness and feminine beauty that the wines character. After Laetitia flawlessly delivered the standard PR line, another guest let her know I was ok, and could be told the full story. La Levrette means “doggie-style” in French. Laetitia’s eyes glinted mischievously as she told she about the double entendre. So you might want to think twice before giving the delicious wine with the elegant greyhound on the label to Aunt Helen. But if you’re a merry prankster like the Wine Harlots, you just might.

The trip was part of a media trip sponsored by the trade organization Planet Bordeaux.
photo credit: EatonAlive ©2011