Burgundy...my love

Inside the AGO
This past March, I attended the annual Vintages Burgundy Taste & Buy event. I look forward to this event every year. It's like Christmas for me. Every delicious glass I smell and taste is like a gift from Santa himself. I was curious to see what this year would bring. The event is normally held at the King Edward Hotel but this year the venue had been moved to the Art Gallery of Ontario. Although the venue this year was more modern and spacious, I missed the catered food from the King Edward. The wine agents were all very nice and once we proved that we were serious wine tasters, they were quite eager to talk to us about their wines. So with the coiled wine list booklet,  I was off to do some tasting!

I love Burgundy
If you're a lover of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, then look no further than the region of Burgundy France. It's amazing to taste the differences in wines that the region offers. Two wines from across the road can taste completely different from one another. This is the nature of Burgundy - diversity between wines made with the same grape.

Whenever I attend a wine tasting, I know that I'm not going to make it through all the wines. Even with all that spitting.  After I taste, I jot down a few brief points that are of interest and then I give it my own personal score.  I use a five point scoring system so when I refer back to my notes, it's easy to see what wines really stood out. Three and above is what I give a wine that I consider to be good. Three  usually means "decent for the price". Four and above is for a wine that I really enjoyed. I rarely give a five. A five would mean that the wine is soooo good, I'd be an idiot not to just run out of the room with the bottle - opened or closed. Wouldn't matter. :)

Stephane Charreyron

The winemaker, Stephane Charreyron, from Domaine D'Ardhuy and myself. He was so much fun to talk to! He had a passion and enthusiasm for wine that just made me smile. His wines were absolutely delicious. This table was one of the highlights of my night.

www.ardhuy.com


Here are some of the other producers that I enjoyed at the show. Look for them at your local wine shop:

Domaine Jacques Prieur  www.prieur.com
Daniel Rion & Fils www.domaine-daniel-rion.com
Chanson Pere & Fils www.vins-chanson.com

Burgundian wines can be quite confusing. The region has over a thousand years of history and with some time, you'll begin to taste the differences between the villages and producers. You'll then find the ones that suit your taste. Here are some key facts that should get you going:
  • The main grapes used for winemaking are Pinot Noir for red and Chardonnay for white.
  • Burgundy wines are all about expressing the land from which the grapes originate.
  • There are five sub-regions in Burgundy to know: Chablis, Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beaune, Cote Chalonnaise and Maconnais - each of these regions have key villages and vineyards
  • Wine from the Chablis region will generally be white (Chardonnay) and un-oaked.
  • If the wine has a designation of AC Bourgogne (Appellation Bourgogne Controllee) then the fruit sourced to make the wine could have come from anywhere within the Burgundy region. These wines are often a good introduction to the area for not very much money.

Enjoy your next bottle of Burgundy! I know I will. :)