The magic of Burgundy
Regardless of whether you’re a wine expert or not, it’s likely you’ve heard, and even tasted, some of the great wines of Bordeaux (France), a region known for producing some of the most famous wines in the world. St Emilion, St Stephe, Pomerol or Pauillac are just a few of the many subareas within Bordeaux that most wine aficionados are familiar with.
However, Burgundy wines, possessing similar and sometimes better quality wines than Bordeaux, are not as widespread or have the global reach. Burgundy is a wine province, extending from Lyon to the northwest of Dijon, which has around 100 different appellations d’origine contrôlée (origin controlled appellations), with Chablis probably the most famous.
Due to historic reasons, Burgundy’s land was partitioned so you cannot find big vineyards there as you would in other parts of France. Even the smallest growers have parcels in two or more vineyards. For this very reason over half of the Burgundy wines are bought in barrel from the growers and then blended by negociants (French term for a wine merchant who assembles the produce of smaller growers and winemakers and sells the result under its own name) to achieve volumes suitable for commercialization.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the most common grapes in Burgundy, and you will find most of the top wines from this region are almost exclusively made with these two star grapes. An example of this are the wines from two well-known Burgundy producers – Domain Chanson and Domain Chanzy – the main stars of a gorgeous wine pairing dinner organized by Lubu, Tan Khoa (importer of D. Chanson) and Wine Embassy (importer of D. Chanzy). The event was a unique opportunity to try a selection of eight delicious wines from the region, including two premier crus, complemented by delicate and charming dishes like caille au vin (quail braised in red wine) and seared Tasmanian lamb, which paired perfectly with the flavors and aromas of the Burgundy Pinot Noirs.
The wines, available in Vietnam from Wine Embassy and Vino, were divine.
It is unusual to have a selection of eight wines from this region together at the same dinner table and for all of them to be exceptional – another great characteristic of Burgundy wines.
Within Burgundy, the area of Chablis is internationally recognized for producing some of the best white wines in the world, and definitely some of my favorites. Nothing beats a glass of good Chablis with seafood, however the whites from Burgundy’s Macon–Villages or Volnay, another two of my favorites, are also exceptional.
As for reds, you will be spoilt for choice in Burgundy, as long as you like Pinot Noir. Santenay, Beaume and Mercurey are examples of amazing red wines from Burgundy, which you can now find in Vietnam. So, if you want to try something different and delicious, start looking for Burgundy wines!