Driven by my insatiable desire to travel to new places while crossing things off my “bucket list”, Gal Pal Elizabeth and I left Paris for a couple of nights and headed to Belgium. The short hour and half trip from Charles de Gaulle to Brussels was just long enough to take a refreshing cat nap so when we arrived we were ready to hit the cobblestones. Literally – there are cobblestone streets everywhere so forget what I have told you in the past about dressing the part of a local; put on your most comfortable pair of shoes or boots.

From our base in Brussels we took a train on to Bruges. Bruges is one of the most charming cities in Europe. Very sweet (both figuratively with delicate, diminutive buildings and literally with more chocolate shops than it seems people), breathtaking and calm is how I think of this tiny city engorged with chocolate shops and tea shops. Ahhh, but what about the wine you’re thinking…

Perhaps it was the freezing cold winter day that set the stage for us to like anything that was put before us, but we enjoyed this uncomplicated table red wine from the Minervois region of France named Château d’Oupia. Owner and Winemaker André Iché inherited a family 13th Century castle with considerable land and became a wine maker late in life. Perfect for its simplicity and inexpensive price point (seriously cheap), this dark and dry Bistro wine was an ideal companion for the house specialty meal of beef in a wine reduction sauce and vegetables. We devoured every morsel of food and sipped the wine glasses bone dry at the Hotel-Restaurant Duc de Bourgogne.

2009 Château d’Oupia, Minervois

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