Wines of the Tour de France

At 303Cycling we suspect that many cyclists enjoy their wine as much as we do. We caught up with Trent Shaoul of Ace Liquors in Boulder to discuss their promotion for "Wines of the Tour de France" for 2010. He and one of his importers, David Bond, gave us the scoop on some great wines that correspond to some exciting stages this year:

[303Cycling] Stage 7, Sat July 10th, will go thru the Beaujolais region. Cyclists and spectators can expect 6 categorized climbs - Three category 2s, two category 3s and a 4 to ensure there is no flat terrain. You can cheer on your favorite because it's anybody's stage. And what else can we expect from Beaujolais?
The Beaujolais region looks much like Burgundy; rolling hills, medieval villages, and thousands of vineyards and small producers. Being a little further south than Burgundy, the cuisine is a little lighter, better for the warmer climate and the fruitier wines. In terms of cuisine, its still the French classics (red meats, game, lamb) but more of an emphasis on grilled meats, lighter vegetable dishes and a lot of pork sausage. Some of the more famous local dishes are boiled or grilled sausage dishes (diot). The Beaujolais region is great for watching the tour. A bottle of Beaujolais, some sunshine and a nice picnic of local cheeses, salads, fruits and cured meats (dry salami, ham, etc..) is perfect for waiting for the riders to show up.

  • Cave de Quincié Beaujolais 2009

[303Cycling] Stage 10, Wed July 14th, takes riders thru Savoie and while the stage is hilly it's less so than Stage 9 where climbers like Contador could be trying to make up time after the first rest day for the GC. No mountain top finishes but steep and technical downhills. How does that compare to the wines and overall flavor of the region?
Savoie is one of France's foremost cheese regions, with such famous names as Beaufort, Reblochon, Tome de Saovie, Gruyere among others. Accordingly, some of the prepared dishes are heavy and best for winter (fondue, raclette, tartiflette). However, the alpine summers (much like here in Colorado) are sunny and mild, and provide great opportunities for hiking, biking, summer skiing and other mountain sports. During these warmer months, the region's famous cheeses are enjoyed with the local hearty breads and cured meats, during a lakeside hike or while waiting for the tour. Local freshwater fish, fruits and vegetables are also excellent, and make up a large part of the summer diet in the region.

    Jean Perrier & Fils:
  • Apremont 2009
  • Mondeuse 2008
  • Méthode Traditionelle NV

[303Cycling] Stage 12, Fri July 16th, will be a long hot 200km thru Languedoc. The GC will again face 5 category climbs, some of which are a 10% grade. To finish on the podium, riders will need to perform during this stage. For those who don't fare as well, what can they expect as they lick their wounds with wines from this region?
Food in the Languedoc is as varied as wine production is. In the countryside, you will find traditional Languedoc fare (lamb and game stews, grilled local meats), whole in the bigger cities such as Montpellier or Narbonne, you will be likely to find more classic French cuisine in addition to the local dishes. On a cultural level, the region is close to Spain, with late night dinners with family and friends and a unique Mediterranean touch to daily life. During the hot summer months, seafood from the nearby sea is a staple throughout the region. Check out this (other white fish work as well).

  • Pigeonnier de la Dourbie Rosé 2008

[303Cycling] Stage 19, Sat July 24th, is the only time trial of the 2010 Tour and riders will be flying thru the Bordeaux region. Fans of Fabian Cancellara could be celebrating a stage win today. When toasting the World Time Trail Champion and possibly tomorrow's podium finishers, what will the Bordeaux region provide?

Bordeaux, as France's second city (Lyon is larger, but Bordeaux has always been more prosperous and prestigious), Bordeaux very much follows Paris and the north in terms of cuisine. Excellent meats in sauce, hearty stews and fine pates (the best foie gras comes from nearby Dordogne) make up much of the regions diet. The mid to full bodied red and white wines of the region very much lend themselves to such dishes. Being a major seaport, Bordelais cuisine also features a hefty dose of seafood, from oysters (from nearby Arcachon) to white fish and langoustines. In terms of cuisine, the Bordeaux region can more than match its historically excellent wine making culture.

  • Château de Virecourt Bordeaux Rouge 2007

Ace's Tour covers Stages 6,7,10,11,12,18 and 19. The wines are currently available for pre-ordering by the case. Stop in and see Trent to discuss the wines and enhance your 2010 Tour de France experience!

2010 Tour de France Statistics

Running from Saturday July 3rd to Sunday July 25th 2010, the 97th Tour de France will be made up of 1 prologue and 20 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,642 kilometres. The Tour consists of 1 prologue, 9 flat stages, 6 mountain stages, 3 summit finishes, 4 medium mountain stages, 1 individual time trail and 3 men on the podium.

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