Inspirato Recommends: Customized Cuisine Experience
For a truly authentic Bordeaux experience, let your Destination Concierge plan a day of exploration, learning and fine dining. He will contact his preferred private chef and discuss the next day's meal. The following day, your concierge will direct you to the renowned farmers market in Libourne, including his favorite butchers, pastry shops and produce sellers. Then you'll return to your chateau for a private cooking lesson with Chef George, a skilled chef who also excels at explaining his techniques. You'll learn secrets to great French cooking while preparing with the freshest ingredients. Of course, the lesson will culminate an unforgettable feast -- paired with wines, if you choose.
Wine Tasting with Inspirato
The Bordeaux region is naturally divided by the lazy flow of the Gironde River into a Left Bank and Right Bank. Though there are certainly no hard and fast rules, the wines of the Left Bank tend to be Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Right Bank specializes in Merlot.
You'll find vineyards right outside your chateau, and even better, tastings are either free or a low price. They're quite amazing, and your concierge can help you decide where to go. We recommend you visit two to three châteaux at most in a single day, as you'll want to take your time and enjoy the experience at each. If you want to venture a little farther, we recommend:
Right Bank: Saint-Émilion
This region is the most convenient to your villa, which is undoubtedly a good thing, especially if you love Merlot. Cabernet Franc grapes, known as Bouchet locally, are also prominent here (but the damp, cool soil is not suited for Cabernet Sauvignon). Saint-Émilion wines have been classified since 1878.
Left Bank: Pauillac
Of all the regions in Bordeaux, Pauillac has the most classified first growth estates -- including Château Lafite-Rothschild. Historically, Malbec was the region's prime grape, but that changed in the early 19th century, when the potential of Cabernet Sauvignon was realized. Estates tend to be larger here, and Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Pontet-Canet are excellent choices due to their high vantage points.
Inspirato Presents: The Meal You'll Remember
Philippe Etchebest of Hostellerie de Plaisance is the recipient of two Michelin stars because his mastery of both classic and modern French techniques allows him to craft a new menu every day, based on the ingredients in that day's markets. He's a celebrity, too, now known as "the Gordon Ramsey of Bordeaux"…but that's not what you'll remember. The things that will glow in your mind long after are menu items such as foie gras and smoked tuna with an Aquitaine caviar tartine; scallops served in the shell with shiso chiffonade, diced pear, flying fish roe and oysters; or lamb and veal so tender that your server won't bring a steak knife. Ask your Destination Concierge to make reservations for this fabulous meal.
Outside Your Door: Saint-Émilion Dining
You'll be hard-pressed to find a meal that's less than excellent, and surprised at how affordable these convenient places are, too. Your Destination Concierge can make recommendations and reservations.
Here are a couple of top places to start:
Idyllic and romantic, Le Tertre has a cozy indoor seating area, a few tables for two on the terrace, sedate piano jazz in the background, and a wine cellar carved out of the rock hillside. You'll choose between three-, four- and six-course menu options, which change frequently based on seasons. It's an authentic neighborhood gourmet experience.
You'll feel the pride in a local meal well-served here. The proprietress checks on tables and speaks English fluently. We particularly recommend the fish of the day.
The dishes at this bistro sound simple, but they are rich in flavor. Chai Pascal is a little off the beaten path, and the service and atmosphere are very warm and welcoming. Try the melt-in-your-mouth duck confit.
Bordeaux, Your Way
We know where to start the day with a stroll and end it with a sunset view.
Day Trips, Operas & Architecture
Perfect day trips, cultural activities right outside your door and more.