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I love wine.  The first time I became enamored with wine was in a restaurant called Bibendum in London.  I remember taking a date there and ordering a bottle from the "right" side of the wine list (I figured a hundred ought to do it).  What I tasted was magnificent, and I was instantly hooked.  It was a Meursault and this would be a better story if I remembered which one, but I don't.  Suffice it to say that I now store well over 100 bottles of Meursault in my cellar.

Incidentally, Bibendum remains one of my favorite restaurants in the world.  If you are ever in London, make sure you visit and pop me an email thanking me profusely for recommending it.

My favorite wines are White Burgundies and Barolos.  I realized early on that for me, it would be best to limit my "major" collecting to a few growths otherwise I would go broke.  This would also allow to me to develop a special appreciation for the wines I truly love.

White Burgundy

White Burgundy wine encompasses all the white wine produced in Burgundy, France. White Burgundy wine is always produced from the chardonnay grape. Burgundy is made up of 5 different districts which produce distinctly different wines. Even within a single vineyard, a producer can make a  wine completely different from his next door neighbor.  burgmap.jpg (20598 bytes)

I mean this literally. In Burgundy it is quite common for several families to own two or three rows of vines in a particular vineyard. This is all good as it makes for fantastic differences from bottle to bottle. The districts in Burgundy are:


Chablis - Known for it's steely, minerally whites, although there has been a trend recently (to the dismay of many Chablis fans) towards bigger, richer wines.


Côte d'Or - which is further divided into Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune.  The Beaune is where the whites are produced and probably the most complex whites you have ever tasted.  They include Meursault and Montrachets.


Côte Chalonnaise - Sometimes known as Burgundy's best kept secret, the region offers a less expensive alternative to The Cote d'Or wines.  


Mâconnaise - An even less expensive alternative but don't let that fool you.  Two districts here produce fantastic value priced wines, Pouilly-Fuissé and Saint-Veran.  My house white is Verget's Saint Veran.


Beaujolais - Does not produce whites but the wine that everyone makes a fuss about on the third Thursday in November, the Beaujolais Nouveau, is produced here.


Barolo is a BIG red produced in the Piedmont region of Italy.  This wine has grown in popularity and price (much to my dismay) in the past few years, especially given the success of the 1997 vintage. 

Barolo is produced from the Nebbiolo grape and it is generally a huge wine, very dry and full bodied.  Barolo must age at least three years before it can be released and my suggestion is to age it another 5 before you open (longer if you can wait!).  Another wine produced in the Piedmont region is Barbaresco, or as I like to call it, Barolo's younger brother.  





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