While you are embarking on a wine tour, you are also going to plunge into a real French Culinary journey, as the best way to experience wine is with good food.
Except for the Castle, we typically stay away from starred restaurant, as I specialize in very very good restaurants that are more accommodating to my necessities than the ones that Michelin celebrates. While Michelin starred restaurants are in the guide, It takes me a lot of research in the field to find the alternatives that will be able to deal with my standards, but I believe that in the end you will be really happy to dine in these less known but possibly more convivial restaurants, that take equal pride in what they serve.
* If you have any food dietary or juste taste restrictions, please let me know at booking.
* Other than that, I fix the menus, typically ahead of time with the chefs or restaurant owners.
* I find important that everybody eat the same (save for dietary restrictions) as this provides a common experience that we may all discuss all tour long. It is one of the benefits of such a tour, that the others may add to the experience with their comments and analysis. This is especially true for instance about food and wine pairing. For these reason, as well as because a journey like the one you are going to embark in, is a perfect opportunity to explore, I suggest that you open your mind to foods that you otherwise would not consider.
* I also have to decide what we are all going to eat in order to pair the wines accordingly. In essence the tour is a roughly 2 weeks long wine dinner.
* Since I know in advance where we are going to eat and what we could eat there, I am choosing dishes also in function of what the restaurant where we eat may have that is exceptional or rare, as well as seeking a diversity in the dishes along the duration of the our.
* I will bring the wines for all our meals everywhere we go, save for a few meals in Paris possibly, notably on the Eiffel Tower. This is because we want to be able to taste the wines from the tour's producers as often and in as many different situations as possible. This means that I have to convince the restaurants that they are not going to sell us wine. This is the most difficult thing I do, but it helps that I speak their language, literally and figuratively.
At this point if you have any doubt or concern, you may certainly ask me any question you have. You may also want then to read this review,
as I think it summarizes very well, what I try to accomplish and how somebody with slight concerns experienced it.
* Breakfast in provided and included in the tour in Nice and Paris. Else where it is available and you will pay the hotel directly for it.
* Please note that this tour has meals that are able to satisfy most people's appetite, and beyond actually. So breakfast is the easiest one to skip in order to maintain a semblance of not overly indulgent diet. While the rumor is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, fasting a little bit here and there, also has healthy benefits, and if nothing else, I know that it helps looking forward to lunch.
* In Arles you would be able to get Breakfast the Hotels for 16€ at Hotel 1, and for 20€ at Hotel 2. There are also multiple cafés and bakeries in Arles's center that may also wet your appetite.
* At the Rhône Valley castle, the breakfast is an opulent buffet, with everything you are likely to want, and it is 25€.
* All lunches are included in this tour, save for the free day in Paris on May 31st, unless you are touring Paris with me.
* Lunches are typically 2 courses, entrée and dessert if at a restaurant, and when we have lunches provided by the wine makers, then they are more likely to be 3 or even 4 courses, but I do try yo appeal to their sense of mercy, given that we can't eat like that for very long if we want to fit in the plane that will eventually bring us back home, given that we most likely will have to do that sooner or later.
* For the same reasons as above, dinners are typically 2 courses, entrée and dessert, sometimes possibly appetizer and entrée.
* At the castle though, being a gastronomic venue, we will have a 3 courses dinner every night, 4 at the gastronomic restaurant, and 2 at their bistro.
* The Gastronomic restaurant was a one Michelin star restaurant until they let that go for cost conservation reasons (need of extra staff etc) after the pandemic. This isa restaurant very much focused on organic produces, and they produce about 80% of what is served in their own garden. The cuisine is very vegetal and light.
All this means that you might want to go on a diet 2 to 4 weeks before the tour!