Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Classy Day Drinking: Les Caves Ouvertes

On Saturday, we went on this magical wine tasting adventure: les Caves Ouvertes. This was the 26th year of this wine tasting event, which invites amateurs to try a large variety of wine from the vineyards surrounding Geneva. It included free transportation (both train to the countryside and buses from vineyard to vineyard) as well as unlimited wine tasting for the whole day for a mere 5CHF. Now, if you know anything about Geneva or Switzerland, that is a crazy good deal. A single bus ticket in Geneva in 3CHF, probably a ticket to the countryside roundtrip is at least 30CHF, and the vineyards? Well, I'm not sure if wine tasting is normally free (I believe places in Napa are), but the difference between this and that is that they are very aware that everyone at this event is getting drunk and not exactly buying their favorite case of wine after the visit.
The event was a far bigger deal than I had realized when Alice had mentioned the event on our Facebook group. I thought it would be similar to our wine tasting adventure in Montpellier, which was very small (just the group of us), sitting around a table, pretending to taste the horse or raspberry in the wine. In other words, I thought it would be nice, but snobby.

However, this was far more of a party. When we got on the train, the whole thing was jam packed as groups of friends yammered away. Exiting the train, hoards of people drifted towards the vineyards where we found an already packed tent full of wine. At almost every stop, we met some drunk new friends who had certainty taken advantage of the unlimited wine situation.
For me, the best part of the whole adventure was being able to see the countryside and vineyards outside of Geneva. The last time I wandered around Switzerland, there was still snow on the ground. But this time the scenery was so lush and green with beautiful blue skies. Well, beautiful blue skies until our last stop, when it started pouring....

After we took the train home, we stopped by Chez Ma Cousine to get dinner. My family friends in the area said it was by far the best deal in town and I have to agree. 14CFH for half a chicken, salad, and potatoes wouldn't even be a bad deal in the US. Our tipsy sells devoured all our food but I left my wine glass untouched and offered it up to the table. After all that wine all day, I didn't think I could handle anymore. 
In general, the day was quite the success. I spent a grand total of 25CHF for the whole day including a little train ride, wine all day and a half chicken dinner. I'm pretty sure that's a good deal everywhere! As per usual, this experience had inspired me to do something back home. And now I really want to drag my brother to Napa during my two weeks back home now that I can drink legally in the states! 

PS. Check out my friend Faith's blog! She went on this adventure too and has muuuch better pictures than me (and sometimes I steal photos of myself from her blog because I hate asking people to take pictures of me)


  1. Looks super fun!!

    davie and erica


  2. Looks like so much fun and good food! xx


  3. This looks like the perfect day, and the rain didn't seem to taint it!
    Love your blog, definitely going to take some ideas for Summer fashion from here.
    Thanks for your comment on my blog, I hope whatever exams you have/had go well


    Lizzi x x

  4. Wine fresh from vineyards? I've checked your friend's blog and the picture tells that this is such an amazing wine-tasting experience. The vineyard looks wonderful and the food and wine looks mouthwatering. I wish I could fly there and experience that too. =)

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