Friday Night: Burgundy

No region, no word is so evocative of European Civilisation than “Burgundy“, that region of East-Central France that is home to some of the finest, and priciest wines on the planet. The region seems to have been home to vineyards since at least the second century AD. The Rhone-Saone corridor was crucial in transmitting all the elements of civilisation from the Mediterranean lands of Italy and Greece up into the dark and woody north, and good food and wines were premier in the Romans’ priorities. The name itself seems to have come from the Burgundians, a tribe who briefly ruled in the area after the collapse of the Western Empire, and who themselves may have originated on the distant Baltic island of Bornholm, a region little known for viticulture.

It was the monasteries of the middle ages, particularly the Cistercians, who took the region by the neck, as t’were, and originated the obsessions with terroir, appellation, grand cru and all the other arcane terminology beloved of the cognoscenti. Wikipedia has a good baseline link here [1] and we include a link also to the Wine Society to act as a point of departure for more serious explorers, as well as some ace pictures [2]

Where to go and what to buy? Well, what follows is largely for UK readers for obvious reasons (we are no longer in any position here to tell the rest of you what to think!) but it shows what can be found in a good supermarket. We’ve largely chosen Waitrose,[3] but any good mid range retailer would do as well.

Entry Level: We thought their Cave de Lugny Chardonnay, Macon-Villages makes a very reasonably priced starting point at £10.99. It’ll get you accustomed to the bottle and the labels without breaking the bank. And at least you can say you’ve tried., Fans of the marvellous old TV show Clochemerle will demand Beaujolais is “let in”-so why not a Morgon la Chanaise at £14.99?

Mid Range Ah, now you’re getting serious At £36.99 a No1 Cote de Beaune is one to lead a special dinner party, and will partner most meats and birds well, especially roast. We have never been big followers of the so called red/ white dichotomy with grub, and usually keep a bottle of both on the table. People seem to drink them just the same, especially if poured a few cocktails into them before all sat down.

Getting Heavy What, are you a Conservative Party donor or something? In which case a Volnay en Chevret Preier Cru is just for you, though even you may want to drink it slowly at £50.00 a bottle. Or how about a Louis Jadot Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru at an eye watering £75.00? But these prices are piffle for real Burgundy lovers.

Sparklers We’ve never understood the obsession with Champagne, especially when the Burgundy region is able to produce such a good sparkling wine as Cremant. To get you started try an absolute bottom of the range Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne from £1400 at Sainsbury’s. And ask yourself-“what would I pay for a Champagne like this?” We only ask

Whatever you are doing this weekend, enjoy




#burgundy #cremant

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