On Tuesday we went to see Narbonne, a former Mediterranean seaport about 30 minutes by train from Carcassonne. The two towns have the similarities of population, Roman historical connections, Canal du Midi links, and being on our original list of places where we might move. Bill had done some advance planning on what parts of the city we’d probably want to visit with the first stop being the covered market. It was lively, clean, and despite having all the usual vendors of breads, pastries, fruits, vegetables, beef, pork, chicken, and fish, the only smells we detected were good ones. But that was not why we were there.
Months ago when Bill was looking at photos of the inside of the market he spotted a wine bar where a tasting was in progress. With that image held firmly in his head, we walked in the front doors of the market, strolled down the middle aisle, and within seconds were standing in front of Les Tapas de la Clape. Because of this area’s proximity to Spain, tapas feature prominently in the menus of many restaurants. It’s a restaurant open to the market and since it was 11:00 AM the place was empty.
The four of us stood there for a minute wondering if there might be a wine tasting when Nowalle and her beaming smile approached us and asked if we would like to sample some of the local wines. Well, that took about a second before we all gave an enthusiastic “YES!” With joy and care she poured reds and whites for us explaining what we might taste and how far away from Narbonne the vineyards were located. What a fun experience that exceeded anything we had hoped for. Since we’ll only be half an hour away, I think we’ll be back.