Bust Out of the Burgundy Box
It doesn’t take much imagination to pair red Burgundy with boeuf Bourguignon or coq au vin.
Adventurous wine drinkers should endeavor to pair Burgundy with dishes from around the globe. The original home of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir produces a broad range of wine styles that pair well with many cuisines.
“Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are versatile wines, and the different growing areas within Burgundy offer a wide expression of choices that pair well with many different types of cuisine, from seafood to beef,” says Marie Vayron, a French-born sommelier at Aldo Sohm Wine Bar in New York City.
“Good acidity and minerality lend themselves to spicy cuisine and dishes with citrus elements,” says Vayron.
Whether heading to your neighborhood BYOB, ordering takeout on a weeknight or cooking one of your grandmother’s heirloom recipes, you’re sure to find a bottle from Burgundy that’s a perfect match.
The Cuisine: Mexican
The Dish: Tacos Carnitas
The flavors: Slow-cooked pork, black pepper, oregano, corn
The pour: The vineyards of the Côte de Nuits lie south of Dijon and extend more than 12 miles, running through such famed villages as Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée and Nuits-St.-Georges. The region’s reds are noted for their rich black-cherry flavor, and notes of chocolate and herbs. Between bites, the wine’s tannins cut through the fat and heat.
Our pick: Roux Père & Fils 2011 Vieilles Vignes (Gevrey-Chambertin)
The Cuisine: Chinese
The Dish: Mongolian Beef
The flavors: Beef, ginger, soy sauce, onions
The pour: The 12-mile long Côte de Beaune is anchored around the city of Beaune. To the north are Pernand-Vergelesses and Aloxe-Corton, among others. South of Beaune are Pommard, Volnay, Mersault, Puligny-Montrachet and more. Some of the world’s finest white wines grow here, as do highly regarded reds. Light Pinot Noirs with cherry flavors and pleasing aromatics won’t overwhelm bright notes of soy sauce and ginger.
Our pick: Bouchard Pere & Fils 2010 Beaune du Château Premier Cru (Beaune)
The Cuisine: Indian
The Dish: Chicken Tikka Masala
The flavors: Chicken, tomato, coriander, cumin
The pour: The Mâconnais, the southernmost region within Burgundy, is known for its outstanding whites, including Pouilly-Fuissé. The fullness of fruit and vivacious, almost herbal aromatics won’t be overpowered by the mélange of spices used in Indian cooking. A judicious use of oak works best alongside chicken, and the lemon-lime flavors and zesty finish of this Chardonnay stand up to the brightness of the tomato in the sauce.
Our pick: Emile Beranger 2013 Pouilly-Fuissé
The Cuisine: Spanish
The Dish: Pulpo a la Gallega
The flavors: Grilled octopus, paprika, garlic, potato
The pour: The villages and vineyards of the Hautes Côtes de Nuits sit on the slopes above the southern portion of the Côte de Nuits. The altitude and cooling breezes help the grapes retain acidity, making these wines a fit alongside seafood dishes. Raspberry flavors with light floral notes complement the classic Spanish paprika and garlic combo, while medium-weight tannins provide a foil to the richness of potato and olive oil.
Our pick: Domaine Dominique Guyon 2011 Les Dames de Vergy (Hautes Côtes de Nuits)
The Cuisine: Japanese
The Dish: Spider Roll
The Flavors: Soft-shell crab, chili paste, lime juice, tempura batter
The Pour: The appellation of Hautes Côtes de Beaune sits on a high plateau above the Côte de Beaune. Wines from about 20 winemaking villages are all labeled under the general appellation. These lively white wines offer flavors of grapefruit, lemon and subtle spice that are an ideal accompaniment to the slightly sweet taste of soft-shell crab prepared tempura-style, accented by touches of fiery spice and lime.
Our Pick: Antonin Rodet 2011 Château de Mercey (Hautes Côtes de Beaune)
The Cuisine: Italian
The Dish: Fettuccine Carbonara
The Flavors: Pasta, bacon, egg, Parmigiano Reggiano
The Pour: To the south of the Côte de Beaune, the Côte Chalonnaise produces white, red, rosé and sparkling wines. In the center of the region, Givry and Mercurey are known for their delicate reds. Flavors of raspberry and a touch of smokiness amid soft tannins are a superb partner for pasta coated with egg and flecked with bacon and salty cheese.
Our Pick: Domaine Faiveley 2011 Clos de Myglands Premier Cru (Mercurey)
The Cuisine: Thai
The Dish: Shrimp Pad Thai
The Flavors: Rice noodles, shrimp, chili, fish sauce, tamarind
The Pour: Chablis’s neighbor, Grand Auxerrois, is unique in Burgundy. In addition to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Aligoté, other grapes permitted include Gamay, César and Sauvignon Blanc in the Saint-Bris appellation. Chardonnays from the villages surrounding the Yonne River, including Chitry, Irancy and Saint-Bris are similar in style to wines of Chablis. They have just enough body to work with rice noodles, egg and shrimp, and the acidity to hold up to flavors both sweet and spicy.
Our Pick: Goisot 2011 Corps de Garde Chardonnay (Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre)
The Cuisine: Greek
The Dish: Avgolemono Soup
The Flavors: Chicken broth, rice, lemon
The Pour: Chablis, in the north of Burgundy, is known for fresh, light Chardonnay—the only grape permitted to grow in the region—with citrus and mineral notes. The calcium-rich soil of the Serein Valley imparts a steely, clean elegance to Chablis wine, and bright acidity pairs well with lemony dishes, like avgolemono soup.
Our Pick: J. Moreau & Fils 2012 Chablis
- 1Carnitas and Gevrey-Chambertin
- 2Mongolian Beef and Beaune
- 3Chicken Tikka Masala and Pouilly-Fuissé
- 4Pulpo a la Gallega and Hautes Côtes de Nuits
- 5Spider Roll and Hautes Côtes de Beaune
- 6Fettuccine Carbonara and Mercurey
- 7Shrimp Pad Thai and Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre
- 8Avgolemono Soup and Chablis