Want to have the “ultimate” experience in Burgundy, tasting wines and visiting vineyards? Who doesn’t! Here are some tried and true tips for ensuring your trip is over the top fabulous!
1. Location, Location, Location! Experience the “terroir”. Find someone to take you around and “introduce you” to the various parcels of land. You know that fabulous Chardonnay you love? The one from “Les Charmes” (perhaps). Well, visit that plot. See where it’s grown. It’s all about real estate.
2. Think Small! Some of the best vineyards, and best wine production in Burgundy is from small parcels of land. Just cause it’s tiny and just cause you haven’t heard of it means nothing. Good things often come from small packages!
3. Timing is everything! Yep, that’s right. The year’s very important. And not just because it might be a “good” or a “bad” year. It’s more complicated than that. A wine from one year might be fabulous and open immediately. A wine from another year might be fabulous (and open) 10 years later. Knowing the year of your wine and when to open that wine, is very important.
4. Talk to the winemaker. You must find a wine maker to take you through his or her cellars and discuss their philosophy and methods. Nothing (and I mean nothing) beats that! If you don’t have any personal connections (and let’s face it, most of us don’t) then find someone who does. Do you have a friend in the business? Can you join someone who’s already doing this? Whatever it takes, as the saying goes, “just do it”!
5. It’s all about You! Trust yourself. Often people are bamboozled by the expert or the name. You’re the one drinking the wine. So, you are the one who has to like it. Do a blind tasting so that you’re not overly influenced by extraneous factors. You’ll be surprised by how much you know and how consistent your taste really is.
6. Learn to Read a Label. It’s more than art. Each word has a reason, and helps you identify the wine. It includes things like vineyard, ranking, year, winemaker etc. Can you imagine how you might choose a wine if there was no label? Well, that’s what you’re doing when you don’t know how to read the label! Information is power!
7. Relax. Everyone is just too intense about wine. It’s meant to be enjoyed. So, enjoy yourself