Historic Lyon

Today we’re in Lyon, one of the gastronomic capitals of France. It’s 34 degrees here with some light snow – a bit chillier than when we left Austin. We’re exploring the city, including its Roman ruins and the historic Basilica Notre Dame de Fourviere. Our hotel, the Cour des Loges, is located in the Lyon historic district and consists of a series of four buildings that were originally constructed in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Lyon is the dividing line between northern French butter-based cooking and the lighter, olive oil-based cooking of the south. There’s an amazing selection of restaurants here, from the casual bouchons to the Michelin-starred. Last night, we dined at the Cour des Loges, a Michelin one star restaurant. There we began our sampling of Rhône Valley wines with a viognier-based Condrieu Côte Châtillon and a Domaine St. Prefert from Chateauneuf du Pape. The Condrieu was aromatic, as you’d expect from a viognier, with notes of apricot and violet. It pared well with various seafood dishes on the chef’s tasting menu. The Grenache-based Chateauneuf was excellent, with red fruit notes, pleasant tannins and spice notes. It paired nicely with the beef filet.

Tomorrow we travel to the northern Rhône wine region. (Click here for information on the Rhone Valley wines.)