Tag Archives: French wine

Thirsty Thursday: Beaujolais Done Right: Stephane Aviron Chenas 2011

This Thirsty Thursday, I melt into a gelatinous ball of sweat and irritability.  Summer’s heat pushes me to white, rosé, and sparkling wines.  But I’m already bored.  A low tannin, light red that could handle a slight chill sounds perfect. … Continue reading

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Strasbourg Part 2: Historic Wine Cave beneath a Hospice: Cremant and Pinot Gris Grand Cru

Last Monday’s EU Austerity Drinking Tour landed us in Strasbourg’s Christmas markets, on top of its Cathedral, and enjoying its wine. Today, we descend into the caves of the Hospice de Strasbourg.

As with our visit, not ten days prior, to Burgundy’s Hospice de Beaune, we find Strasbourg had its own, even older medical, religious, wine cellar. Since 1395, cellars beneath the city’s hospital provided wine as medicine and sacrament. Like Beaune, this hospice gained vine-land from guilty proprietors bent on heaven. Although wine-making stalled during the last century, it reformed as a cooperative in 1995. Let’s see what survived the centuries. Continue reading

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Thirsty Thursday: Aurélien Verdet, Hauts-Côtes de Nuits, la Prieuré, Bourgogne 2010

This Thirsty Thursday we look to a small wedge in Burgundy. 4 wee hectares (just 9.9 acres) of Pinot Noir to be exact. Called la Prieuré, it sits on the Western edge of the Hauts-Côtes de Nuits (that blue splotch on the map) near Arcenant. Continue reading

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Fontenay Abbey: Au Revoir Bourgogne

Having hit 130 days of nonstop travel, our EU Austerity Drinking Tour needs a moment of sober solace. The last three days in Burgundy have climbed Beaune’s premier cru vineyards, visited the Hospice de Beaune, and Dijon’s medieval gems.

Today we wake at 9am, feast on chocolate croissants, then hop train to Montbard. Our small map puts famed Fontenay Abbey nearby. Since UNESCO declared Fontenay a World Heritage Site on our birth-year, it must be worth a day trip. But the 6 kilometer march, without sidewalk, near freezing, turn this into surprise penance. Continue reading

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Thirsty Thursday: Olivier Leflaive, Les Setilles, Bourgogne Blanc, France 2011

This Thirsty Thursday we drink Chardonnay. Wait! No! Keep reading! I lied. It is not Chardonnay, it is magnificent, fabulous, white Burgundy.

Now, yes, white Burgundy must be Chardonnay. But you try and grow any grape in Burgundy. Any grape. No matter how hard you try, the resultant wine will taste of Burgundy. Why?

The weather in this eastern French valley sucks. The soil sucks. Vineyards are smaller than American homes. Traditions and rules are painfully restrictive. Wine-making is stuck in the past. And everyone looks pale, angry, and old. Continue reading

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