Bordeaux – “exclusive “? If the city ever was snooty, all those expat Brit wine fans must have imparted that rep. In any case, wine lovers of the world, bar none, soon will unite in the munificent first city of wine. The magnet now under construction — La Cité des civilisations du vin — plans to open its architecturally sophisticated space by summer 2016.
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Elsewhere in these “pages,” I’ve described my enthusiasm for Bordeaux, the city. From my first visit in 2010, when I was welcomed to, among other Bordelais venues, the state-of-the-art Police Nationale headquarters, I was dazzled by the urban renewal phenomenon masterminded by Mayor Alain Juppé — in photo below, wearing hard hat. (Obviously, I don’t qualify to vote for Juppé — but if he can do for France what he did for his city, I’ll be the first to campaign for him. As soon as I ask my personal Paris political journo, Thibault Leroux, how exactly the French ‘campaign’ for their candidates?)
Anyway, I travel to Bordeaux every chance I get. I’ll definitely drop by in 2015 — and I’d love to attend the inauguration in 2016 of the Cité. News of this ambitious wine adventure was shared with members of the press invited for the purpose to the French Cheese Board by NYC’s French cultural genie, Elaine Leary (below, right, with George Sape).
Over glasses of excellent Bordeaux and well-selected compatible fromages, we were briefed by former Maître of the Commanderie de Bordeaux in New York, George Sape. Not coincidentally, Mr. Sape now happens to be president of the American friends of the Cité (AFCCV), whose goal is to raise one million dollars to fund the naming of The Thomas Jefferson Auditorium in the Cité — “symbolic,” he explained, of the unique history of close relations between France and the U.S. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Sape and Ms. Leary, you can help AFCCV make wine history – keep reading!
None other than T. Jefferson was responsible for introducing Bordeaux wines to his countrymen. Putting his vines where his mouth was, he planted the former at his Virginia estate, and produced his own cuvée de Monticello. Don’t be surprised if a Virginia vintage turns out to be among those offered at the worldwide wine tasting extravaganza that soon will launch the U.S. fundraising effort.
Very soon! On April 30th in the United Nations Delegates Dining Room, supporters like you will be invited to taste wines from no fewer than 50 countries “from Lebanon to Mexico and Australia to Jordania” — not to mention several French and American regions. Step 1, ticket. Step 2, definitely do show up with an empty stomach, in anticipation of the special dishes created by a squadron of elite French chefs to accompany the dozens of wines slated for presentation during the gala evening.
Love wine? No way can you miss this rare cross-cultural tasting and the chance to raise glasses with His Excellency Francois Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the U.N., Cité president, Sylvie Cazes, George Sape and Elaine Leary — and of course, who else but my French presidential candidate-to-be. . . Alain Juppé.
For useful details, click 30 April on the calendar. See you there!