Tag Archives: Burgundy

Possibly Better than Julia Child’s

IMG_1951 But then again, I wouldn’t know. I just know it was really great food with some really great people. Sunday night my father attempted (and succeeded at) Julia Child’s recipe on Coq au Vin. We didn’t have an old rooster as some of the old French recipes might call for, but it was still on point. I was a little late for dinner because of work, but don’t you know I made up for it by bringing the wine!

“Les Dames de Huguettes” Bourgogne – 2009 (Hautes Cotes de Nuits) Domaine Mongeard – Mugneret

This wine gets a little bit of shtick online, but I thought it was really nice. Red Burgundys Les Dame de Huguettesare really great and I certainly don’t drink them enough. Well, they are usually Pinot Noir, so I drink plenty of those, but not many from France. They are seen as too light, not having enough fruit, not having enough tannin or not having enough structure in general. Sometimes, if it quacks like a duck…. They aren’t trying to be anything else. I take Burgundys for what they are – elegant. I got this one at the Wine Merchant in Cary.

With this one in particular, the nose smelled like a dark red, full of dark fruits. There was no astringent smell at all, only freshness. The color was amazingly bright ruby red and on the palate bright fruit of cherry to match its color. The wine was soft, but with the exact flavor that I wanted with the meal (My dad had already told me he would be using an Oregon Pinot Noir in the Coq au vin). I knew I needed something to match. Though they are completely different styles of Pinot Noir, it worked because the sauce was light enough to hang on with the French Burgundy. The smells and tastes lingered together and didn’t overpower one another.

The Coq au vin came out beautifully, even though it had to be reheated! The chicken was tender, the onions Coq au Vinwere cooked perfectly and the mushrooms full of richness. And the sauce! Light carmel colored liquid gold – I love that the sauce wasn’t too rich or too overbearing like gravy can sometimes be. It dripped with lusciousness without causing that over-full feeling and soaked the rice under the chicken nicely. Add bread and butter and I couldn’t help but to eat as slowly as possible to savour every bite. It’s fun how some of these French recipes become an accomplishment, you have to try them out!

It’s at these times that we feel like we can really go travel anywhere. Sure, we weren’t in France, but we were acting French. French peasant food with array of fresh breads, cheese and salads, beautiful red Burgundy and a table of friends. At once, we are transported to a new culture and loving every minute of it.

A bien tôt! Salut!

Hautes Cotes de Nuits


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Filed under Food Pairings/Recipes, The Wine Merchant, Wine, Wine Tastings, Wine's Properties, Wineries

Tomato/Tomahto Potato/Potahto

Let’s call the whole thing off! Ahh, the EU – changing things up since 1276.  Well, the date is a joke, but they do seem to have things a little backwards.  Or, maybe it’s us.  Okay, it’s definitely us, but what can we do about it.  It’s not our fault we were discovered hundreds of years later, is it? To clue you in to what I’m talking about, this evening it’s all about how we name our wine.  So maybe you were perusing the wine aisle the other day and kept seeing grape varietals you’ve never heard of.  In the Italian section you saw Sangiovese, in the French section you saw Red and White Burgundies and Bordeaux.  Chances are, you’ve at least tried these kinds of grapes.

Did you know that some parts of Europe name their wines after the area in which they come from? You must know the whole Champagne debacle, where everything else is just sparkling wine.  Real Champagne can only be called Champagne if it was produced in Champagne, France.  However, Champagne is not the grape, they are usually mixtures of white and red grapes (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for example).  Another example, you were out at an Italian restaurant and ordered the Chianti, but in the store didn’t recognize the Sangiovese.  Chianti = Sangiovese. Sangiovese is the grape; Chianti is the area in Italy where it is made in Tuscany.

One more example, your extremely wine savvy friend orders you French White Burgundy because he or she knows you like Chardonnay.  You are sitting at the table smiling and nodding, confused and trying to hide it! Un-furrow that brow and compliment their wine choice, because you know exactly what he or she ordered! White Burgundies are made from the Chardonnay grape as are Red Burgundies made from Pinot Noir.  Things in France start to get a really complicated when getting into all the regions, Bordeaux especially! But it is France…what are you going to do? You also have Chablis and Pouilly-Fuisee that are also fun names for Chardonnay.

All of this kind of makes me want to come up with my own name for my favorite wine. Yes, I’ll take the Poura-da-vino, s’il vous plait.

Which way do you prefer? I used to like the wine bottle telling me exactly what kind of grape I was getting, but now I think it’s fun to know exactly where the wine is coming from.  This can be a great way to learn a little more as well.  Next time, look up the area in which your wine’s grapes are grown.  Find out where you favorite wines are grown; learn the reason why the grapes are grown there.  (Riesling is prominent in Germany because the climate is cooler and white grapes do not need as long of a growing season.  Tuscany is perfect for red wine because it’s warm and sunny and the grapes can ripen beautifully.)  The more knowledge you have the better you can feel around those weirdo wino friends.  Takes one to know one!

Two wines I’ve been drinking a lot of lately: 2009 Tuscan Moon, Sangiovese, California and 2009 Honey Moon, Viognier, California.  A nice line from Trader Joe’s for just $5.99 and one that sparked this blog idea. The Sangiovese is smooth with major fruit and clean flavor. The Viognier is classic in its acidity and sweetness.  Both inexpensive enough to get stocked and drinkable enough for any time of day.

Next wine tasting opportunity:
* Sip…a wine store, Cary, 530 – 830 pm, April 15, “Easing those tax paying blues wine tasting” – Free
* Total Wine, All NC Locations, 4-7 pm, April 15, “Perfect Holiday Pairings” – Free
* Sip…a wine store, Cary, 1-4 pm, April 16, “Worms & Wine” (for those with a green thumb) – Free
* The Wine Merchant, Cary, 1-4 pm, April 16, “Wines Courtesy of Wisdom Distributors Wine Tasting” – Free
* Total Wine, All NC Locations, 12-6 pm, April 16, “Perfect Holiday Pairings” – Free
* Fullstteam Brewery, Durham, 9-1130 pm, April 22, “80s Night” – Free

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Filed under Wine, Wine's Properties