Lunch in Beaune
Alas, believe it or not, a girl cannot live on wine alone.
21200 Beaune, France
The restaurateur from La Cantine des Sales Gosses in Lyon who is a foodie, wine lover and my sister-in-law’s friend recommended this restaurant to us. It attracts wine lovers (producers and consumers) and is frequented by locals. Family run, the staff at Ma Cuisine was unbelievably warm and easy going. Reasonably priced, the food was delish, with a wine list to match. I started with traditional escargot, which is one of the delicacies of the region, followed by really lovely skate. My husband had the Andouillette AAAAA. I know… I had to look up what all of the A’s meant too. It means Association Amicale des Amateurs d’Andouillette Authentiques which translates in ‘merican to really outstanding Andouillette sausage. We were unable to make it to Chablis on this trip to Burgundy, so we attempted to compensate by waving in a 2007 Vincent Dauvissat Chablis. It was crisp, lemony, well balanced and gentle on the palate, with a hint of green tea.
To continue our whirlwind tour of the region, we headed north toward Côte de Nuits to taste the wines of Morey-Saint-Denis. Why Morey-Saint-Denis, do you ask? It is nestled perfectly between the coveted and pricey wines of Gevrey-Chambertin and Chambolle-Musigny, but wines from Morey-Saint-Denis can offer tremendous value.
- Super famous neighbors – check… Gevrey-Chambertin and Chambolle-Musigny
- a few Grands Crus – check… the nerve, only 4… Gevrey has 9 (obviously, I am being completely facetious here on all accounts)
- Super tiny production – check
What’s a girl to do?
Au Caveau des Vignerons
3, Place de l’Eglise, 21220 Morey-Saint Denis
The wine growers from some of these smaller production vineyards are spread really thin with their workload and don’t always have the time or the facilities to receive guests for tastings. Au Caveau des Vignerons was initiated by the local government and wine growers to showcase the wines of this specific region. There is a selection of wines available to taste, with well over a hundred wines available to purchase. Au Caveau des Vigernons carries Grand Crus, four of which are from Morey-Saint-Denis (Clos de la Roche, Clos Saint-Denis, Clos des Lambrays and Clos de Tart). They also carry the Grand Cru Bonnes Mares, which is partially located in Morey-Saint-Denis. The remainder of their Grands Crus comes from Chambertain or Chambolle-Musigny (Chapelle-Chambertin, Chambertin, Griotte-Chambertin, Charmes-Chambertin and Clos Vougeot). Caveau des Vignerons also covers Premiers Crus from Morey-Saint-Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambertain and Chambolle-Musigny. This wine store offers a great sampling of what the area has to offer and all in one convenient location.
Our tasting included three of the twenty Premiers Crus from Morey-Saint-Denis – Aux Charmes (1.17 hectares/4.3acres), Les Ruchots (2.58hectares/6.37 acres, separated from the Clos de Tart and Bonnes Mares only by a narrow road, Route des Grands Crus – again value) and Les Chaffots (2.62 hectares/6.47 acres). Clearly, you can see how tiny and fragmented the land is.
A lovely, but brutally honest woman hosted our tasting. My father-in-law had selected a few bottles at random. When we went to check out, she put a few back, exchanging those wines for wines at the same price point (and even lower), of better quality and more in tandem with his palate. We tasted many wines, but we walked away with the following 4 Premiers Crus:
Prices below are prices paid at the store and are not inclusive of shipping, taxes, etc.
- 2006 Morey-Saint-Denis, Les Chaffots, Domaine Michel Magnien (36,00€) located right next door to the Grand Cru Clos Saint Denis; concentrated black fruits, perfume and velvet
- 2007 Morey-Saint-Denis, Les Charmes, Domaine Virgile Lignier (36,00€) finesse, feminine
- 2006 Morey-Saint-Denis, Les Ruchots, Jean Louis Amiot (25,50€) supple
- 2007 Chambolle-Musigny, Aux Combottes, Domaine Alain Jeanniard (32,00€) figs, stewed fruit, pencil shavings
For the Mustard Freaks like me…
I am a complete mustard freak, so we wrapped up our day by filling up any crevice of remaining space in our suitcase not already occupied by wine with mustards. In our home, we have a shelf in the refrigerator just for mustards. C’est vrai. The variety of exceptional mustards in France is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Although I know there is a strong contingency on team Amora, we tend to favor Maille.
12, Rue Auxonne
21000 Dijon, France
+33 3 80 65 15 26
Here’s a little secret. If you can’t make it to Dijon, they also have a boutique in Paris (6, place de la Madeleine).
We are hopeful that Unilever will not alter the Maille recipes since their purchase of this company. Dear Unilever: Don’t fix what isn’t broke. I am convinced that Maille caters to the perceived palate of their client base by altering their base recipe from country to country. I guess I have more of a French person’s palate because their mustard tastes so much better in France than in the States. They also have amazing flavors that I have not found outside of France. Some of our favorites are – moutarde au vin blanc (with white wine), au poivre (with peppercorn), aux 3 herbes (three herbs) – we always walk away with the largest size we can get of these. For the moutarde au vin blanc, vat size is available and they fill up your vat for you at the store. We also love the moutarde au Chablis et morilles (Chablis and morel mushrooms), aux pruneaux et Armagnac (prunes and Armagnac), au bleu (blue cheese), girolles, échalottes et cerfeuil (chanterelle mushrooms, shallots and chervil – parsley family) and abricot sec et curry (dried apricots and curry).
To hedge our mustard portfolio, we added this brand to the mix. We were able to find the Fallot brand in boutique shops all around Dijon.