Tried & tested

The Wines & Cheeses class at École du Vin de Bordeaux

July 2022

Walk this way, pleasure seekers…I tested out the Wines & Cheeses class at École du Vin de Bordeaux

9am: I enjoy a coffee in the sunshine on Place de Comédie, in the heart of the city in front of the Grand Théâtre. The scene is set: it’s going to be a leisurely morning. Before I get to the school entrance, I see I’m not the first: these classes are certainly popular! After a few looks and shy hellos, we’re greeted with a smile by Isabelle Négrier, a winemaker and teacher at the École du Vin de Bordeaux. I climb the beautiful stairs and take my seat in our classroom for the day.

©Wyron A

Wine and cheese at 9.30am? Yes please! I soon get into the flow and am carried along by Isabelle’s energy. On the schedule: an overview of the Bordeaux vineyard’s history, its unique features, wine types, AOC designations and grape varieties. Those are the basics, the ABC for any real epicurean. If you want to get the most from the experience, you need to understand it. Actually, let’s just go over the basics because I have lots of questions about them (I’ll spare you, don’t worry): how is wine made? And how is cheese made? And how do you nail your cheese and wine pairings? 

A quick refresh that doesn’t hurt and makes me realise the two production methods do have lots in common. Just like wine, there are all sorts of different kinds and flavours of cheese. To my surprise, Isabelle tells us there are almost 1500 types of cheese: to think that I was happy with just sheep, goat’s and blue cheese. Now I can’t wait to try them all. Let’s move onto practice. There’s a chilled, friendly atmosphere and everyone’s ready to tickle their tastebuds with something new: Sauternes and Roquefort (I’m in heaven), Graves white and goat’s cheese (mind blown)

and many more eye-opening pairings. We learn to touch, smell and engage and everyone loves the experience. Our teacher’s top tip is to keep our noses at the ready and smell everything, everywhere, every day. A snip of chives, a freshly roasted chicken, a slice of cheese, a glass of wine… you get it, smell everything before you eat it to improve your sense of smell. I leave the class with my nose primed and ready to sniff out every little bit of cheese: it’s whet my appetite and left me hungry for new experiences!

Marion, editor 


Useful information:

Duration: 3 hours (sessions in English)

Price: 49 € per person

Ecole du vin de Bordeaux

Extra Pulpe

Treat someone to the class with a gift voucher!