Premier Cru & Grand Cru at Le Coucou

CorkRules | Feb 10, 2023

If fine French dining is your raison d’etre, Le Coucou is the place for you. Internationally acclaimed chef Daniel Rose made his name in Paris with his flair for French cuisine, and he brought his culinary creativity to New York where he established an elegant restaurant and exceptional dining experience.

And what better way to complement French fare than with a spectacular French wine? Bring on the Cru and let the fun begin.

But wait, should you splurge and opt for a grand Cru or will a simple cru do, and what’s the difference anyway?

Let’s demystify the terminology and move on to enjoyability.

Quite simply, the term ‘cru’ is used within classifications of French wine to indicate a high-quality vineyard or group of vineyards. Cru literally means growth, and this term has been adopted in classification as a nod to the importance of the terroir.

Grand Cru is the recognized designation of higher quality wine. Grand Cru refers to the quality of a particular vineyard and the terroir in which the grapes grow. The terroir of the region that gains this accreditation is known to produce consistently high-quality vintages. Grand cru literally means great growth. The term is first found to be used in the region of Burgundy in the middle ages when the Cistercian monks and the Catholic Church classified each vineyard according to quality. In Burgundy, grand cru wines must be made with only grapes from villages that fall under a grand cru region.

Fast forward and move over to Bordeaux in 1855 when the term is officially recognized as a classification of the Left Bank Bordeaux (thanks to Napolean). The classification in Burgundy is all about the vineyards and terroir, but in Bordeaux, the classification of grand cru can be given to a winery that holds the status.

Premier cru wines are a step down from grand cru, however, since a premier cru vineyard could be literally next door to a grand cru vineyard, the difference in the quality of the wine may be negligible. Premier cru or 1er cru accounts for no more than 5% of the total Burgundian production, and grand cru makes up a tiny and exclusive 1% of production in Burgundy.

But if these high-status wines are outside of the budget, consider opting for village wines. These wines are from the same classified regions, but the yield allowed per hectare is more, allowing more of the grapes to grow, the vines themselves may be younger (old vines add complexity to wine). There are plenty of quality village wines on the market, and this is a great place for finding delicious wine at a good price.

If a white Burgundy is on your mind or you are looking for a grand cru wine, click over to the CorkRules wine review podcast with certified sommelier Grace Hood. She’s identified a few good bottles on the wine list at Le Coucou.



About the CorkRules Podcast: Each week we pour a glass and share top restaurant wine list’ picks, providing you with the knowledge to confidently navigate the wine list through sommelier recommendations, suggested food pairings and expert insights

About CorkRules: CorkRules, the first digital wine app experience, makes it easier for you to navigate the restaurant wine list, and provides you with personalized wine recommendations from your favorite restaurants. Through CorkRules you can find the perfect wine for every occasion based on your preferences. Connect with friends and wine experts to discover new wines to try and learn about wine. CorkRules makes it easier to discover and drink what you love.  

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