Avignon: Mirthful July Evenings of Tasting Sublime Côtes du Rhônes at a Secluded Open Air Wine Bar

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The Southern Rhone’s biggest nightly pour in July: for four hours nearly every evening this month you can satiate your palate with a variety of quality Côtes du Rhône wines while quieting your appetite with some eerily delicious charcuterie and cheeses, all for 5€.

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You feel pampered, as if someone is giving you a gift. It all comes down within the high ancient walls of a courtyard, insulated from the cramped Avignon Festival streets, of the Maisons des Vins where 200 to 300 wine lovers partake in a happy ritual.

Know that each evening the Côtes du Rhône tasting renews itself by a new selection of wines from other areas and other wineries within the appellation.

You may find this sort of radical generosity unusual for a wine tasting.

You recall other tasting experiences where the server was niggardly in filling up your glass with no more an inch of wine, where someone was pushing an order form under your nose, or asking you for your email address, or where the wine did not merit anything more than a first sip.

So what a feeling of pure pleasure when, at the Maison des Vins, you quickly intuit that your host – Inter Rhone – is acting out of affection and love for the wine.

The July tasting schedule is listed on the website. Opening night is July 5; closing night is July 26.

The tasting on Friday, July 12, features the official cuvées of the Avignon Festival from Vacqueryas, and on Tuesday, July 23, the Women Winemakers of the Côtes du Rhône are offering their wines.

There are no tastings on July 14, 18 and 22.

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Basics:

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Maison des Vins, 6 rue des Trois Faucons, Avignon, Located in the center of the walled city, see google map

Open from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Entry free, For 5€, a logo wine glass for tastings, a shopping bag and an “ethylotest” to measure if one is safe for the road.

Schedule of Tastings here.

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