I had never hung out in a 16th century hunting château once owned by a member of the Bourbon royal family (that would be Henry IV, to be exact), now owned by a member of the prestigious Pichon-Longueville family, and sipped brandy from a snifter on a cold winter's evening until last night.
If you think the environment around doesn't have an impact on your enjoyment of booze, then you're probably one of those people who always drinks at home because it's cheaper. I'm not one of those people, however. I like eating and drinking in my apartment, but I also love to soak in a little atmosphere. Particularly when it looks like this.
It's not always easy to understand what makes a particular wine or spirit special when you're sitting in front of your TV, unwrapping plastic bags full of take-out, and watching a repeat of the Big Bang Theory while you check your phone for recent emails. Sometimes you have to go to the source to comprehend the significance. In the case of Château de Briat, I think that's the case.
But I know that most of you will never make it to Henry IV's former hunting grounds, so I'm going to do my best to bring it to you with tomorrow's On the Trail blog post. In the meantime, I'll give you one more photo here.
I wasn't sure what I was more in the mood to drink: Pichon-Baron Bordeaux, Château de Briat Armagnac, or a glass of Bourbon in honor of his former majesty's namesake.