The January leg of the Wineophiles tour takes us to Bourgogne, a place English-speakers refer to as Burgundy. I’ve followed the Wineophiles, a group of writing, drinking and cooking bon vivants, for a few months, but this is my first hat-in-the-ring.
I find Bourgogne particularly enticing, arousing, sensual.
Nothing, not one drop, short of H O T in all the delicious ways.
I’m going to let you in on something: If heaven and Earth collide, the stardust result will be a meal in Bourgogne soaked in the regional wine.
Bourgogne is located between Paris and Lyon, not a bad place during the spreads of French history when more than thirsty tourists traveled the commercial route through Europe. But it’s not just traffic that makes Bourgogne a winemaking star; the terroir of this region is priceless, utterly. Lots of white wine, primarily made from Chardonnay, come from this region which features over 100 appellations. (For more on French wine labeling see: Great French Wine. Is it All About Labels?) These babies are wildly impressive and Bourgogne Blanc is among the unicorn herd of mythical wines. As for reds, expect Pinot Noir, lots of gorgeous, silky Pinot Noir.
I had a pure moment of leg-quaking, stuttering bliss when I was treated to Clos de Mouche, a hallmark bottle from the wine-royals at Maison Joseph Drouhin. You know those moments, the bottles that tempt beyond all hope of a good reputation in the morning? I’ve had that moment (actually a couple of them) in Beaune.
Here are my tips for visiting Beaune:
- Beaune is located in the Bourgogne region, known as Burgundy. The area is so beautiful and tasty; it will wake anyone up from a work-a-day trance. If you can manage, take a car so you can stop off and enjoy what might present itself (I’m putting together a piece on my road trip through France, and an unexpected stop in Bourgogne shines as a highlight of the whole trip.)
- When in town, you’ll be able to park the car and stroll. There is plenty to see, taste and write home about. If you have time for at least a couple meals, you will not be disappointed. We experienced the glitter of luck when Jean-Marie put us in Le P’tit Paradis for the evening. To reserve a table visit the website and pop in your information.
- We had an afternoon coffee (ok, and a ham sandwich) at a darling little place where we enjoyed people-watching and dog-admiring. We got a touch chilly and asked if the outside heater could be turned on. When the answer was no, the waiter told us to hold on, he had something in mind. He came out with four cozy plaid blankets to snuggle under. What incredible service. To sit and enjoy the experience grab a seat outside at Brasserie Le Carnot which can be reached by phone at +33 3 80 22 32 93, or by stroll which is how we found this gem.
- While the area might seem graduate-level when it comes to wine, there is so much to learn that everyone comes in as a beginner at some point. Don’t hesitate to schedule time at Drouhin to learn and live the history. Jacquie will customize the tour for the group gathered before her. To book your time with Jacquie or another of the guides visit the website to connect and learn what’s being offered while you are in town.
- Hôtel le Clos has several types of rooms to make your home for the night. Their website has a lot of helpful information, including general bits about Beaune as well as specific details regarding the hotel. There is a darling video (in French) that is so beautiful. If you don’t speak French, enjoy with your eyes. English-speaking travelers will feel perfectly welcome here. Don’t hesitate to ask for information or details. Click around on the website to get a feeling for and book this sweet little hotel.
- On this particular trip, I was only in town long enough for one dinner, but in the past I’ve enjoyed a meal at Le Berger du Temps, which is only a few footsteps down the road from Hôtel le Clos. This authentic and cozy little nook has a large, decorative terrace and lots of little French knick-knacks about the place to spark stories in your head. So handy, these websites…this one too offers online reservations.
Wineophiles don’t just drink and travel, they also work magic in the kitchen. Well, I don’t exactly work magic in the kitchen, unless that witches-brew soup I just made counts… So, I asked my husband to pair a dish with the bottle of wine I bought for this post: Aegerter Les Enfants Terribles Rouge, a 100% Pinot Noir. The Bourgogne Wine Board has an absolutely top-notch website. If you want to know anything about the region, you must click about. They’ve put together a comprehensive profile on each winegrower. To sample this feast of information, here’s what they have to say about Maison Aegerter Jean-Luc, the makers of Les Enfants Terribles.
My husband is the best. I actually had a friend in college who said: “He’s darling, what a doll.” I know he’s been called other things over the years, but most of them are complimentary, especially when he’s in the kitchen. He does all of our for-fun cooking — weekend meals, entertaining, brunches — and he’s the mastermind behind the meal featured here.
We did it on a Sunday, one of the coldest yet, during this phony winter that we’ve had in the American Midwest. It was definitely a chilly run to the market, but warm and cozy inside while we shopped together. There really is something romantic about fresh produce: the droplets of mist, the vibrant colors, the scent of harvest. Hopefully you are able to shop with someone you love too. Here’s what you’ll need:
Mushrooms. We bought a few large white mushroom caps but the true gem of this dish were the mushrooms found in the forest collection (porcini, morel, trumpet, and chanterelle).
Tomatoes, your choice. Our shop has some gorgeous multi-colored packs that are pretty as a picture, delicious too.
Radicchio. We used a little bit of young kale as well.
Also: olive oil, butter, pepper, Arborio rice, white wine, chicken stock, grated Parmesan cheese, Madeira wine.
The recipe, a work of art:
The French #Wineophiles have set tables, chilled bottles and poured glasses for you. Join in on the delights and temptations of Bourgogne:
- Lyn from BinNotes shares “Meet The Formidable Mdm. Anne Parent of D. Parent’ from Pommard”
- Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm shares “Vol au Vent served with a 2014 Chablis”
- Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva shares “Classic Burgundy”
- Jill from l’Occasion shares “Risotto with Forest Mushrooms & Shallots, a Meatless Match for Aegerter Les Enfants Terribles”
- David from Cooking Chat shares “Pouilly-Fuissé with Goat Cheese Pasta and Chicken”
- Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares “Cod Grenobloise + a Louis Jadot Chardonnay”
- Michelle from Rockin Red Blog shares “Burgundy: A Taste of Terroir”
- Martin from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog shares “A Taste of Burgundy”
- Jeff from Food Wine Click! shares “A Virtual Visit with Burgundy Friends”
Don’t forget to join the live Twitter Chat this Saturday (Jan. 16, 2016) at 10 am CST (1700 hours in Beaune, France!) Just search for the hashtag #winophiles. We love new participants, if you would like to join us, just let us know. Stay tuned for our February visit to Alsace. Au revoir!
For more sexy narrative and tempting pictures, slip into these stories of the glories of my time in Bourgogne: