Earlier this year, I dreamed up the idea of writing a daily wine and/or spirits post that would follow the daily path of the Tour de France. Those good intentions never came to fruition, as the time necessary to map out the course and lay out the plans for what to cover seemed to elude me. Maybe next year…. Until then, one of the fringe benefits to following the tour, aside from the drama of racing, remains watching the race caravan course through the French countryside, much of it through wine country. In spite of the undesirable melodrama of the sport’s continuing problems with doping, simply watching the race provides one of the sporting world’s greatest spectacles.
Now at its midpoint, this year’s edition of Le Tour is currently smack-dab in the heart of the southern French vignoble. Yesterday’s Stage 13 snaked through the Gard and Hérault to its finish in Nîmes, while today’s leg runs through St. Rémy de Provence on its rolling route through the countryside toward the foothills of the French Alps.
Cooking up ideas for the blog can be fun but my real dream, in this context, remains actually going to the Tour, riding parts of the course, and watching the mountain stages, or perhaps the finish in Paris, in situ. Until then, I'll settle for living vicariously. In honor of today's route, enjoying a chilled glass of Provençal rosé while watching the stage coverage would be just the ticket.
Every edition of Le Tour seems to provide at least one spectacular crash in which the victim somehow manages to emerge relatively unscathed. This crash in yesterday's Stage 13 will be hard to top.