It is open – and just like the stunning bottles of wine that it celebrates, La Cite du Vin (City of Wine) requires immediate consumption. After seven years in the making, the 10-story, $91 million museum with 20 themed areas and exhibits is an incomparable venue whose jaw dropping presence graces the banks of the Garonne River in the Bassins à Flot district of Bordeaux wine country—a roughly five-and-a-half hour drive or one-hour flight from Paris.
There is a 250-seat auditorium for screenings and classes; a simulator boat ride that retraces the maritime journey of a merchant’s galley across the globe; there are expert-led tasting sessions, while the top two floors are dedicated to a Belvedere wine saloon, a restaurant, tapas bar and boutique selling stock from 80 countries. How about this ? There’s also a tribute to the hangover. No joke. You can sit in an enormous plush chair while listening to famous stories of inebriation. There’s also a multi-sensory space with moving sets, 3D images and olfactory whiffs. Overall, there’s too much wine to need to whine about anything.