France: What I Ate (and Drank) in Burgundy

Eating and drinking wine are my 2 favorite activities.

 

Well, the 2 that are most appropriate to blog about.

I took a whirlwind trip to France during my travels last week.  The purpose was (obviously) wine.  Burgundy is one of France’s most notable wine districts.  It’s home to red and white Burgundy wines – better known to many as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Specifically, I was in Côte d’Or.

Burgundy_Areas_France

 

First thing in the morning I met a tour guide, Stephen.  Stephen is from the UK, but married to a French woman and had lived in France for many years.  He knew all the ins and outs of the region!  If you’re ever in Burgundy, I highly recommend hooking up with Authentica tours.

We began the morning with a drive to our first destination, filled with a ton of background knowledge about the region and wine classifications… and a croissant.  You think you’ve had good ones in America, but there’s nothing like a true French croissant!

French croissant

 

Burgundy is not only the original home of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, but also the “terroir” (tare-wah) that produces the very best.  Terroir simply means the way the grape, soil, climate, vineyard placement, and the human touch comes together.  

The area has a classification system that divides the wines into 4 levels of quality:

  1. Grand Cru – Makes up 1% of the approved wine growing area; it is the highest quality and most expensive; they are big wines with complex flavors made for cellaring; there are just 33 Grand Cru vineyards in Burgundy – some are literally inches away from a Premier Cru vineyard (you may know famous names like Romanée Conti, La Tâche, and Montrachet)
  2. Premier Cru – 10% of the area; from special vineyard areas within a village called “climats”; their flavor is more intense, but are still affordable and perfect food wines (their labels say “Premier Cru” or “1er Cru”)
  3. Village Wines – 37% of the area; they are named after the town nearest to where the grapes are sourced; light, but still complex (look for names like “Pouilly Fuisse”, “Santenay”, “Givry” or “Mercurey”)
  4. Regional Wines – 52% of the area; can be made from grapes grown anywhere in Burgundy and tend to be fresh, light wines that are easy drinkers (“Bourgogne Rouge” or “Bourgogne Blanc).

 

No matter what the classification is, Burgundy looks like a story book.

Burgundy, France

 

We arrived at our first location, Pierre André au Château de Corton, for a tour of the cellar and a tasting of 3 white and 3 red Burgundy wines.

I was so excited to try the Grand Cru!  It was a bit young, but still delicious.  It was fun to see how the flavor changed and relaxed after just 15 minutes in the glass.

Pierre André cellar

Pierre André cellar

Pierre André tasting

Pierre André tasting

 

Then we were off to Beaune where were had two hours for lunch and to wander the town.  Again, the city looked like a fairytale.  I walked around with my mouth hanging open.  Finally I chose a location for lunch: Le Fleury.

I couldn’t leave France without trying authentic Boeuf Bourguignon.  It was incredible – easily one of the top 3 meals of the trip.  Boeuf Bourguignon is one of my mom’s favorite “Julia” meals, so I thought it appropriate to eat it on Mother’s Day and tag her in the Instagram pic.  What a nice daughter I am, no? ;)

Le Fleury Restaurant - Beaune, France

 

We continued on the tour, stopping to gawk at the Grand Cru vineyards.  It was amazing how small some of them were!  I now understand how they can charge so much – with so few vines, it’s supply in demand.  Not to mention the incredible, complex flavors.

I took liberties with the wall protecting the Domaine del la Romanee-Conti vines. Their Grand Crus sell for thousands, and are in such demand it’s a task to even find a bottle to buy!

Domaine del la Romanee-Conti

 

We continued along, stopping to take in the sights and learn the history of various landmarks.  I’ve always liked hearing the “rest of the story,” so I geeked out a little.  I can’t imagine how our guide knew SO much – every castle, every Grand Cru spot, and family histories.

I have the memory of a goldfish – the little plastic castle is a surprise every time. LOL!

Castle… recently bought buy a Chinese man for $8M Euros. Pocket change.

The Clos de Vougeot vineyard was created by Cistercian monks of Cîteaux Abbey. The Château de Clos de Vougeot serves as headquarters of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin (Brotherhood of the Knights of the Wine-Tasting Cup).

 

There was one more tasting from a very sweet couple who own Gérard Quivy.  When Gérard himself walked in you’d have thought I just saw George Clooney.

We walked through their cellar and then proceed to taste 3 reds, including their Premier Cru.  It was delicious – I bought my mom a bottle for Mother’s Day (in case a picture of me eating her favorite meal didn’t count as a gift).

Domaine Quivy Gérard cellars

Domaine Quivy Gérard cellars

Domaine Quivy Gérard Premier Cru

Domaine Quivy Gérard Premier Cru

 

That’s where the French fairy tale ended.  Back to the train I went to head back to Basel and Lucie.  I couldn’t wait to tell her all about it – I wish she could have come too!

During my wait for the train, I ate a salad with smoked salmon.  Not amazing, but still impressive for train station food!

Smoked Salmon at the Dijon train station

 

Maybe the fairly tale wasn’t quite over.  I ordered the salad with a purpose – to save room for my first real French crepe.  Properly stuffed with Nutella.

Nutella crêpe

 

This is my WIAW on a Sunday in France.  Trust me, it’s far more fun that what I’m eating today (on an actual Wednesday).  Remember to check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else’s delicious creations!WIAWbutton

***

I’m officially back to reality today – it’s my first day at my new job!

Have you ever been on a wine tour or tasting?

What is your favorite French food?

 

Comments

  1. says

    ‘It was a little young but still delicious’. Do I need to comment this? #dirtysista

    I SO wish I could have come!! Especially now when you are telling me about George Clooney…..where’s THAT picture??

    The crepe is my fave. Probably could be mastered and topped with Ovomaltine Spread or Cookie Swirl…..droooool.

  2. says

    And now I need to go to Burgundy! I’ve become fascinated with wine regions recently (long gone are the days of buying the cheapest bottle I can find… Well, it happens less…) And how amazing are Nutella crepes! Banana, cream n nuts are also great additions ;)

  3. says

    I am going to be in Paris in a few weeks and my only requirement is to eat a freshly made croissant…glad to know that they taste as delicious as they sound! As for my favourite French food, I am partial to baguettes…with cheese..and wine ;)!

  4. says

    I have never been on a wine tasting tour – have been to a coffee tasting though ;)
    It’s on my bucket list to eat a croissant in Paris! Your whirlwind trip sounds like it was a blast – Good luck at your new job!

  5. says

    This is why you need to come down under- We pride ourselves on our wineries and wines…I despise both but I’ll totally take you there ;)

    French food- as much as I love their hearty stews and frogs legs (please tell me you tried those), nothing beats a baguette with cheese. Or just the baguette. IT’s that good!

  6. says

    Drooling… and such gorgeous views! We didn’t have a lot of time when we passed through France, and spent most of it in Paris. Next time we need to get out to the country and the small towns!

    • Laura says

      I’ve never been to Paris! I am always torn between seeing the “big” sights and getting lost in smaller towns.

  7. says

    Never been on a wine tasting tour- – for some reason I don’t like it. I’ve tried, ,trust me. Oh, I love the crepes in Fance and how they are street food in the summer — I liked to get the savory ones with cheese, ham, tomatoes and other fillings stuffed in!

  8. says

    Eating is definitely top of my priority list :P Ahhh I am so jealous you enjoyed real croissants and real crepes! They are so delicious! France has a lot of wonderful foods to offer in between touring around, and sound like you made the most of it :) And of course the wine too :P

    • Laura says

      The little villages are the best way to see countries (in my humble opinion). It was my favorite part of Italy too!

  9. says

    Beautiful pics. My husband and I did a biking tour through Bordeaux a couple summers ago. Such a cool way to tour through the vineyards. He is the wine guy and I am the biker so a good compromise. Looks like a fun trip!

    • Laura says

      I’ve always wanted to do a biking tour! I biked through Calistoga last summer and had a blast. It got a bit difficult toward the end of the day though. ;)

  10. says

    Oh it all looks amazing! We are heading to France at the end of June, I can’t wait for all the delicious goodies we will munch on! Looks like a great trip…love the area you got to visit, that is one thing I am loving about living in Europe is everything appears right out of a fairytale!

  11. says

    I’ve been to a couple wineries, but needless to say, going to one in France sounds a lot more exciting than the Niagara region. And there weren’t any Nutella stuffed crepes around…I think I need one of those.

  12. says

    I hope your first day at the new job is going well! It looks like an amazing day of eats. One of my favorite things about traveling is learning about local cultures. It sounds like you had the right guide who was able to share lots of fun information. I’m sure the food and wine were fantastic too!

  13. says

    Do french fries count?? ;-)
    When I visited France {over 10 years ago}, I was brave enough to try escargo and frog legs. Not sure I’d be brave enough now.
    I LOVE wine tasting and try to hit the different regions of California about once a year.

    • Laura says

      Did you get less brave? LOL! I would have tried the escargot, but they come in such big orders and I was worried I wouldn’t like it. That’s the dowsed of traveling alone.

      I do the same with CA! We need to join forces. :)

  14. says

    Is it sad that I’m drooling over the wines at 7:50am?? I love French or Italian Pinot Noir but one of my favorite French wines is Louis Jadot Beaujolais. I love it when the nouveau comes out in November so you get an idea of how future wines will taste.

  15. says

    So much delicious food! I love how fresh and real everything is. V and I plan to take a trip to Italy next year and to be 100% honest, the #1 thing I’m excited about is the food.

    And I’ve started getting more and more into wine this year and am really enjoying trying different kinds and figuring out what I really love. Another trip I’d love to take is to Napa…we’ll see!

    • Laura says

      Where are you guys going? Italy remains my favorite place in the world. I’m taking my mom for her birthday this fall!

      You haven’t been to Napa??? I’ll let you know next time I go… maybe you can come with?

  16. says

    Ahhh all the wine, so jealous… wineries in the US just cannot compare I think… I’ve been on several winery tours in Pennsylvania but nothing was amazing. Good luck today at new job!!

  17. lynda Hall says

    I am inspired by my three daughters! One just went with a backpack for two weeks to Panama and now Laura to France & Switzerland. Looks like a fabulous trip for both! Love my girls!

  18. says

    Good luck with your new job… Sorry it hear your vacation had to come to an end. I will also be away on vacation before starting my new job… I hope we have enough time to regroup from an overseas trip :)

  19. says

    i love france! my favorite meal was in villa franche. It was tucked in an alley. I ate for 4 hours! snails, duck, wine, OH MY! so fairy tale indeed! and good luck today

  20. says

    AMAZING and seriously wine and food is the best blog topic EVER! I have done wine tastings before and they’re so much fun. Going to Napa and Sonoma is on my “bucket list”. I haven’t had French food in a while, but I do pretty much eat everything Italian. ;)

  21. says

    French crepes are my absolute favourite thing in the world!! I once had a $10,000 bottle of wine, and on a separate occasion I had a “priceless” bottle – only 10 were made in the world, and the other nine went to royal families!

      • says

        A friend of a friend is a Knight of Bordeaux, so his job involves going around the world serving royalty and extremely rich people. He hooked us up one Christmas and again when I was in Paris 4.5 years ago. To be honest, it was very early on in my wine drinking “career” so I couldn’t tell the difference between that and regular wine. It was definitely wasted on me!

  22. says

    I still love that you just picked up and went to Switzerland, France and back to Switzerland. I admire your spontaneity. Not sure I could do it, but I absolutely enjoyed living vicariously through you last week. It reminded me of all my wonderful European vacations and some of the best parts were the train rides. I could have stared out those windows for hours watching the farms and the countryside whiz by. I was coming from Amsterdam though; that might have had something to do with it. ;)

  23. says

    MY PEOPLE MISS ME OVER THERE IN FRANCE! I need to get on back ASAP! I haven’t been since I was a little spaghetti-ONLY liking girl, STUPID! I want to go back NOW and truly appreciate the foods more!

  24. says

    so jealous of your time there, we want to go back now that we are older so we can truly experience it better.

    Lori has been wine tasting a few times…I need to catch up!

    • Laura says

      I know that feeling! I was too young the grit time I went to Italy. The second tie I appreciated it a lot more. You guys should go back and go some tastings. Post-pregnancy for Lori, of course. ;)

  25. says

    Heaven heaven heaven. I grew up drinking Chardonnay (well, you know, not illegally….. ;) ), so this sounds like such such heaven. I’d want peanut butter not Nutella at the end but.

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