Burgundian Vineyards

Revisiting the classics

What makes a classic? What give certain films, books, wine, and ingredients the ability to endure, to create a legacy of greatness? Quality is one part of the equation. But the key is in versatility, the ability to evolve. A great wine is open to interpretation; its complexity lets you find new elements each time you taste it, over the course of a meal or a decade. A great ingredient is versatile in its uses but also complements and enhances all kinds of other flavors and ingredients. So this week we’re taking a look at a couple of wine regions and staple ingredients that have been making cooks smile for centuries.

Wines @ PG
Buy any six bottles of wine and get 10% off!

We often talk about uncovering little-known wines and unusual grapes. But our penchant for the peculiar is in no way a dismissal of the classics. The “Great Wines of France” — Burgundy, Bordeaux, Châteauneuf-du-Pape — haven’t earned their reputations for nothing. There are times when nothing can beat one of these grand, elegant wines. We have a few new Burgundies and Châteauneufs that we are drooling over, so we highly recommend that you indulge in one of these wines from the eastern half of France.

The many faces of Burgundy.

2009 Château de Puligny-Montrachet Burgundy Rosé ($24.99)
Fresh, utterly elegant, and addictive, this is the Audrey Hepburn of wine. It’s not overly common to find a rosé from Burgundy, but if you do, count yourself as very lucky. Pinot Noir makes rosés that are crisp like their Provençal cousins but with a layer of gravity. This wine is beautiful and refreshing, but hardly forgettable. Quite aromatic, the strawberry and cranberry notes are carried along with a lot of minerally verve. The finish is lengthy and has just the right amount of tartness.

2007 Robert Chevillon Nuit-St-Georges ($65.00)
We dreamt of this wine for months after tasting it. Robert Chevillon is known as the elder statesman of Nuits-St-Georges, a sub-region of Burgundy that produces some of the finest Pinot Noirs in the world. He produces earthy, concentrated, yet silky Pinots that honestly proclaim their terroir. As Stephen Tanzer reports, “Raspberry, smoked meat and a hint of spun sugar on the very ripe nose. Supple, sweet and easygoing; in a distinctly tender style.” We loved the woodsy notes of truffle, spice, and cranberry. The incredible, long-lasting finish made us covet this wine, and now we’ve brought it into the shop for you to enjoy, as well.

2007 Domaine de Montille Bourgogne
This wine haunted Sharon for months (in the best possible sense). An incredibly delicate Pinot Noir, almost dusky rose in color. Despite the subdued color and texture, the wine explodes on the palate. Expressive nose of raspberry and cherry, with a subtle earthiness and a satiny, mouth-coating length. An astounding, evolving complexity.

The wines of new popes.

2008 Mas de Boislauzon Chateauneuf-de-Pape ($40.00)
“A very strong effort with surprising length, depth, and attractiveness, it possesses a dark plum color along with a big, sweet nose of soy, black currants, black cherries, and garrigue. This is a richly fruity, long, well-endowed 2008 to drink during its first 7-8 years of life. Ever since I began following this small domaine (22 acres) fifteen years ago, the quality of their wines has increased with every top vintage. The brother and sister team of Daniel and Christine Chaussy is responsible for the wine.” 88-90 points Robert Parker

2008 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-de-Pape ($65/750mL or $30/375mL)
“Deep red. Fresh red berries, flowers and spicecake on the nose, with a hint of white pepper adding energy. Juicy, finely etched strawberry and raspberry flavors show a pinot-like character and are framed by silky tannins. The lively finish features a lingering note of candied flowers. This graceful, understated wine should be delicious on release.” 90-92 points Stephen Tanzer

2008 Domaine de la Côte de l’Ange Châteauneuf-de-Pape ($35.00)
Though it had the classic dark, brooding textures and aromas of the appellation, the Côte-de-l’Ange also had a fruity freshness about it that makes it our pick for those of you who want to enjoy a 2008 Châteauneuf-de-Pape sooner rather than later! Try it against the 2005 Ferraton Châteauneuf for an edifying (and delicious) look at two different vintages.

Food @ PG

Oils & Vinegars

We gave our oil and vinegar shelving a facelift this week, making them more accessible and orderly. It’s salad season, and if you’re bored of the same old balsamic vinaigrette, try some of these:

Verjus is unfermented grape juice, a staple in French country kitchens. Tart and acidity, but never harsh, it makes a great substitute for lemon juice or vinegar in marinades and dressings. Here’s a simple Verjus and Walnut Oil vinaigrette for salads:

2 tbsp verjus
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup walnut oil
salt and pepper to taste

A drizzle of Truffle Oil over anything from a charcuterie plate to a pasta salad to a flatbread pizza adds a savory depth to your everyday meals.

A l’Olivier spreadable flavored olive oils are delicious on toasted pieces of leftover baguette as a side to your salad or chilled soup. They also work well as a rub for seafood or in savory baking.

Your grilled veggies will steal the show if they are marinated in Blood Orange Vinegar, a sweet and sour vinegar.

Les Mouettes d’Arvor Sardines come in three kinds: sundried tomato, chili, or extra virgin olive oil. Use them in an arugula salad or in pastas.

Craves @ PG

Emmi Swiss Yogurt

Luscious, ubercreamy yogurts hit the spot for breakfast, snack time, or dessert.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Cooking with Verjuice

Maggie Beer is an advocate for regional products and traditional practices. Her book will open your eyes to the many uses of verjus, drawing from the traditions of French provincial cooking. Buy the book along with a 720mL bottle of verjus and we’ll knock off 10%!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery