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Where's the Burgundy?

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Jon Peterson

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Where's the Burgundy?

by Jon Peterson » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:11 pm

As Liz and I finish up out trip to the UK and France, I was Struck by the lack of Burgundy wine, especially red wine, on most restaurant wine lists. Lots of Bordeaux and Rhone wines, though.
Any idea why this is?
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Re: Where's the Burgundy?

by James Roscoe » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:25 pm

$$$$$$ at a guess
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Re: Where's the Burgundy?

by Tom Troiano » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:35 pm

$$$$$$ plus its much more dificult to understand than Bordeaux.

How many people own a piece of the Clos Vougeot and how many of those owners actually make wine?
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Re: Where's the Burgundy?

by Sam Platt » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:53 pm

Jon,

I raised the same question to a French co-worker on one occasion. He said that the French do not generally favor the Burgundy style outside of the region. You don't find much Port on non-tourist restaurant wine lists in Portugal either. I was told that most Portuguese hate the stuff. Go figure.
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Re: Where's the Burgundy?

by Rahsaan » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:35 pm

Sam Platt wrote:He said that the French do not generally favor the Burgundy style outside of the region.


What did he mean by 'the Burgundy style'?
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Re: Where's the Burgundy?

by Rahsaan » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:36 pm

Without knowing the particular restaurants (which really is everything), I too would look to price. The top restaurants most definitely have lots of high-end Burgundy but perhaps mid and lower-level restaurants that are more price conscious can find other better value options.

Or, you could have experienced an idiosyncratic and non-representative sample of restaurants.
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Re: Where's the Burgundy?

by Tom Troiano » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:27 pm

Sam Platt wrote:Jon,

I raised the same question to a French co-worker on one occasion. He said that the French do not generally favor the Burgundy style outside of the region. You don't find much Port on non-tourist restaurant wine lists in Portugal either. I was told that most Portuguese hate the stuff. Go figure.


Sam,

I was always told that Port was made for the British. Its not "designed" for the locals. Maybe this is urban legend but I was always told that during one of their wars with France the British boycotted French wine and started getting their wine from Iberia. Unfortunately, much of it showed up in the port of London spoiled by the excessive heat in the bottom of the ship. The Portugese began adding Brandy to increase the alcohol and reduce the chance of the wine arriving spoiled. So, its definitely not a Portugese drink.

Is any of what I just typed accurate?
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Re: Where's the Burgundy?

by Sam Platt » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:26 pm

Rashaan wrote:What did he mean by 'the Burgundy style'?

Rashaan,

While I did not press the point with him I took his comment to mean that the French do not generally prefer the more subtle earthy, minerally nature of many Burgundies over the more bold French wines. He personally favored Rhone and Loire blends. My sample size is "one", so I can't really draw any firm conclusions. I do agree with Jon that there do not seem to be many Burgs on wine lists of mid-priced French restaurants.

Tom Troiano wrote:I was always told that Port was made for the British. Its not "designed" for the locals. Maybe this is urban legend but I was always told that during one of their wars with France the British boycotted French wine and started getting their wine from Iberia. Unfortunately, much of it showed up in the port of London spoiled by the excessive heat in the bottom of the ship. The Portugese began adding Brandy to increase the alcohol and reduce the chance of the wine arriving spoiled. So, its definitely not a Portugese drink.

Tom,

I have heard the same thing. I am just surprised at the near complete lack of Port on any restaurant wine list. There is almost a pride in disliking Port among the locals. Certainly the more touristy restaurants in and around Porto feature a wide selection, but venture into a local restaurant and you will find ten varieties of Bacalhau with no Port in sight!
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Re: Where's the Burgundy?

by Fredrik L » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:31 pm

Outside Burgundy itself you will only find them in the best restaurants, only they have a knowledgeable and/or wealthy enough clientele. Your sample is representative. Let´s face it: QPR is not Burgundy´s main strength.

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Re: Where's the Burgundy?

by Tom Troiano » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:32 pm

Sam Platt wrote:venture into a local restaurant and you will find ten varieties of Bacalhau with no Port in sight!


Same probably applies for wherever Nike shoes and iPhone5s (Taiyuan) are made!
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Re: Where's the Burgundy?

by Rahsaan » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:58 pm

Sam Platt wrote:Rashaan,

While I did not press the point with him I took his comment to mean that the French do not generally prefer the more subtle earthy, minerally nature of many Burgundies over the more bold French wines.


I don't know. I guess it depends who you're talking about. I would guess that on average the bold rich style is less popular in France than in the US or Australia.

Regardless, I hope you found some good stuff to drink!
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Re: Where's the Burgundy?

by Jon Peterson » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:15 pm

Thanks for all your thoughts on this. I'd guess price is the number one reason one does not see much red Burgundy, at least at the restaurants we went to, which averaged around 250 Euro, I guess.
Liz and I did find several nice Bordeaux wines and some white Burgundy. Again, I am amazed at all the wine producers out there - never once did I recognize any name on a bottle (except of course for a few of the big Champagne houses).
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