Day 12 of 400: the Cobieres Appellation and Carcassonne – France

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Today we learned how to say wine barrel, “foix en chen” from a women who spoke a little English at a vineyard on the way to Carcassonne.  We were on our way to check into a bed & breakfast we found on trip which was about two hours away in a old renaissance village.

After driving through the twists and turns of the mountains and valleys we were about 15 minutes from our B&B when we saw a place to pull over and take a picture of the beautiful scenery…there was also a cute little restaurant with a tasting sign in the parking lot. We got out and walked in to find a small restaurant with a wine bar to the left and a fire place used for cooking in the back. The owner spoke zero English but through gestures and the help of the bartender (nephew of the owner) we were able to communicate.

Each wine they poured us to taste was very good, we decided to stay for dinner. It was before dinner time, maybe 5pm and the cook had not arrived yet. We asked if we could eat and the Uncle (owner) said yes that he would cook for us! They suggested the magret which is duck. We sat at a small table, watched him cook our duck over the open fire and opened a bottle of their best wine (100% Syrah). Before we ate, the owner motioned for me to come stand with him by the window which looked onto his vineyards. He told me the wine came from those vines and taught me a new French word, Beau meaning beautiful.

While we ate, the chef arrived. He made “family meal” for the staff whom all sat at a table next to us to eat before dinner service began. They had sausage cooked on the open fire with cheese and French fries with table wine. A friend of the family had also arrived and she spoke English being from Wales. She chatted with us about her suggestions for our travels to the UK. She was very sweet and put her suggestions in writing on our website.

When we left the restaurant it was dark, a few hours had passed.  After knocking on the wrong door of someones house and then talking to a random stranger we found the B&B. It was an old winery turned into a home. It was a huge 5 bedroom, two story home all made of stone. The home owner, Serge greeted us at the door wearing a purple sweater, scarf and a big smile.  He showed us to our spacious room, which they named the white room. The decor was all white with hot pink accents.

We took out a bottle of wine we had just purchased and asked if he would join us for a glass. The three of us sat at his large wooden table in the kitchen and opened the bottle. Serge put some music on and opened a bag of salted peanuts to munch on while he taught us the days of the week in French. He also shared with us one of his bottles of wine and a big chunk of creamy chocolate.

After much conversation and too much wine we headed to our room. Breakfast would be served at 9AM.

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