By GERRY BARKER
Photos by Gerry Barker
On Day Four of our 8-day Rhone River cruise on the AmaKristina, we spent the morning visiting a truffle farm near the town of Grignon. In the evening, we are docked at Tournon, which boasts the oldest suspension bridge in France, built in 1825. Tonight finds us at a chocolate and red wine pairing at Villa Caroube in the Cave de Tain winery.
Red wine plus chocolate? Sign us up!
Located at the foot of a beautiful Hermitage hillside, it's a glorious, late summer day in Provence, with the afternoon sun reflecting off the rows of vines. On these hillside terraces, workers "embrace the traditions of tying the vines with straw, with that fine action of quickly and precisely tying 'straw knots'" that takes "years to master."
The villa is a new addition, a sparkling, contemporary building that hosts both training and special events.
We assemble at long rows of tables, where we'll have a tasting of several wines, each paired with a chocolate made by decorated pastry chef, chocolatier and teacher Alain Berne, who talked about why each of the chocolates we tasted were paired with the wine.
There wasn't any chocolate left over we can share, but there are these photos:
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