Apéro, Are you more Grape or Grain?

A few glasses in an in­ti­mate wine bar is a quintessen­tial Bordeaux ex­pe­ri­ence

Bordeaux J'Adore - - Contents - ✒ CLARE O’HA­GAN

Le Point Rouge

This glam­orous, cav­ernous es­tab­lish­ment only opened in 2015, and is al­ready a Bordeaux in­sti­tu­tion. The 1000-ref­er­ence wine list spans the globe; luck­ily som­me­liers are on hand to help you de­ci­pher it. Ex­cel­lent tapas are served, with bel­lota ham dis­played in a vast hu­mi­dor.

1, quai de Palu­date, 05 56 94 94 40

La Con­serverie-con­verserie

In the heart of the Chartrons, once the stomp­ing ground of wine mer­chants from all over Europe, this wine shopcum-bar is cosy and wel­com­ing at any time of day or night. The own­ers have cre­ated a hy­brid space in which to buy or drink wines from all over the world. Fe­male viti­cul­tur­ists are cham­pi­oned. Bel­lota hams, lo­cal cheeses and casseroles ac­com­pany the wine.

18, rue de Notre-dame, 05 56 81 49 17

Les Trois Pi­nardiers

Fans of this bril­liant com­pany which de­liv­ers wine in un­der 30 min­utes will wel­come the news that they’ve just opened their own bar-cave in cen­tral Bordeaux. A bar-cave trans­lates as wine bou­tique-cum-wine bar. There are 90 wines avail­able.

2, rue Ge­orges-bonnac, 05 54 52 21 52

Le Fla­con

This tiny bar a few paces from Bordeaux’s Place Pey Ber­land only opened in 2013, but has very quickly be­come a favourite haunt of young oenophiles. It of­fers rare tip­ples from small pro­duc­ers, as well as highly drink­able wines from larger do­maines by the glass at great prices (€4-7.50). Cre­atively-con­ceived small plates such as tuna ril­lettes with ponzu lime, black pud­ding mac­arons are also spot on.

43, rue de Cheverus, 09 81 86 43 43

Since 2015 there’s been an ex­plo­sion of craft brew­eries in this tra­di­tion­ally wine-for­ward town.

P.I.P. Brew­ery and Lab

PIP stands for Pres­sion Im­par­faite­ment Par­faite, or ‘per­fectly im­per­fect draft beer’. This ‘col­lab­o­ra­tive’ brew­ery has its own teach­ing lab­o­ra­tory com­plete with spa­cious beer gar­den where cour­ses are run. PIP pro­duce a range of blonde, white, red and IPA beers which they dis­trib­ute in delis and bars through­out the city. Book cour­ses on­line.

2, rue Achard, 06 77 38 68 09

Bordeaux Beer Fac­tory

Paul & Nico stud­ied wine and spir­its right here in Bordeaux, but were more se­duced by the craft beer move­ment when it came to launch­ing their ca­reers. This sum­mer will see the open­ing of their on­site brew-pub. Prod­ucts in­clude an Amer­i­can Ale, an English IPA and a Herbal Wheat beer.

64, rue Borie, 06 73 18 47 63

La P’tite Mar­tial Brew­ery

This small brew­ery in the Chartrons is the only fe­male-run brew­ery in town. All of Ly­dia Ser­vary’s high-fer­men­ta­tion beers are hand-made - no in­dus­trial ma­chin­ery is in­volved, the beer is proudly vegan and or­ganic and there’s 0% waste. Brew­ery tours and tast­ings are held every sec­ond Satur­day of the month. Call or email to book.

40, rue Sur­san, 07 82 79 82 79

Az­imut Brew­ery

Paul and Vin­cent are two young brew­ers with a pas­sion for ex­per­i­men­ta­tion. They brew up a new idea each month, some of their more whacky cre­ations in­clude Vanilla Milk­shake IPA and Mid­night Snack Milky Porter. Even their per­ma­nent col­lec­tion is pretty orig­i­nal, in­clud­ing a basil-lime white beer and a so­rachi-oat stout. Their tap-room is com­ing soon, so watch this space, mean­while their beer is served all over town.

5, av­enue du Dr-schi­nazi, 07 62 13 94 69

Solena

Solena, has caught the at­ten­tion of the Miche­lin guide who of­fer high praise of the tiny restau­rant’s mar­ket-driven cui­sine. Chef, Vic­tor Ostronzec plays skil­fully with just three in­gre­di­ents per dish. Bold flavours are com­bined to stun­ning ef­fect in his ‘sur­prise menus’. You’ll just have to take it on trust that the Solena ex­pe­ri­ence is an un­miss­able one. The menu du marche is priced at €39 rep­re­sent­ing ex­cel­lent value for such art­ful cui­sine.

5, rue Chaf­four. 05 57 53 28 06

Madame Pang

First and fore­most a mood­ily-lit lounge-bar, Har­mony and Jérôme Bil­lot’s Madame Pang also serves out­ra­geously de­li­cious dim sum. Cocktails are king here, the mixol­o­gists are happy to shake up the ex­act blend your heart de­sires. Asian beers and Chi­nese wines are an­other strong suit. The dim sum is fu­sion-style, Thai hu­mous with peanuts works sur­pris­ingly well, as does Fish & Chips with Tartare Can­tonese. Don’t miss out on the sig­na­ture crunchy chicken, nor the Bao with lac­quered pork.

16, rue de la De­vise. 05 56 38 47 13

Mets-mots

This cosy brasserie opened on Fe­bru­ary 1st this year and has al­ready at­tracted lo­cal en­thu­si­asm. Decor is warm and co­coon­ing, part-in­dus­trial chic, part-scan­di­na­vian hyggelig. The young chef, Léo For­get presents poul­try and meats which melt in the mouth along­side vel­vety vegetable purées. Art­ful pre­sen­ta­tion and a play­ful ap­proach to cel­e­brated lo­cal pro­duce are his sig­na­ture. The Rue Fon­daudège should be on every tourist’s bucket list - this quintessen­tial Bordeaux street show­cases the city’s bour­geois charms; el­e­gant ar­chi­tec­ture, bi­joux bou­tiques and in­ti­mate bistrots abound. 98, rue Fon­daudège. 05 57 83 38 24

PHOTO SARL QUATREMAINS

The shop front of the Con­serverie Con­verserie.

PHOTO LE POINT ROUGE

High style at the Point Rouge.

PHOTO FA­BIEN COTTEREAU

Bordeaux red wine.

PHOTO PAUL ESPARRE

Paul Esparre and Vin­cent Morin, the founder­brew­ers at Az­imut.

PHOTO PAUL ESPARRE

Az­imut beers.

PHOTO DR

Asparagus/pis­ta­chio at Solena.

PHOTO DR

Choco­late ‘Kayambe’ with black sesame and liquorice at Solena.

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