by Michelle Kwan
The region of Burgundy (English for “Bourgogne”), situated in the heart of France, contains five wine-producing areas: Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais. Primarily comprised of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the wines grown here are noted for their quality, diversity and adaptability to virtually every type of fare. To prove this, the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) selected some top New York City restaurants to serve as testing grounds for the compatibility between Burgundy wines and various international cuisines.
The first stop on this oeno-gastronomical tour was Midtown’s Ai Fiori, located in the Setai Fifth Avenue Hotel. Executive Chef Michael White’s meticulously crafted Italian courses found their perfect complements in wines from the Côte Chalonnaise. A host of dishes, including cannolicchi, charred razor clams and trofie nero, were paired with a 2010 Montagny Premier Cru La Grande Roche, Domaine Louis Latour, which featured a floral bouquet and tropical fruit notes, a fresh and supple 2010 Bouzeron, 2011 Clos de la Fortune, Domaine Chanzy and a ripe, medium-bodied 2010 Mercurey, Domaine Michel Juillot.
Next up was modern gastropub fare at The Breslin Bar & Dining Room inside The Ace Hotel. A fruit-forward 2009 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits, Domaine Michel Gros balanced and enhanced the rich and hearty flavors of the beef and Stilton pie, while the full-bodied 2009 Marsannay, Les Clos, Domaine René Bouvier complemented the crostini with char-grilled greens and miticrema nicely with a silky finish.
The final stop on the grand tour led to the historic City Hall restaurant, where culinary specialties from Burgundy abounded, including beef bourguignon skewers, light-as-air mini-grilled salmon croque gougeres and dark chocolate truffle. These delectable regional bites were excellent counterparts to samplings of a Cremante de Bourgogne, Grand Reserve, “Perle de Vigne,” a 2008 Chorey les Beaune, Vielles Vignes and a 2011 Joseph Droubhin Rully. Overall, it was an afternoon well spent in the presence of fine wine, delicious fare and good company.
The event, which also encompassed more restaurants, was enjoyable and educational. To learn more, visit the Wine Pairing pages.
You can click on each picture to enlarge. All photos courtesy of Danielle Faitelson Photography.