- Wine Tips
Wines from Burgundy at Benoit
Benoit is a Parisian-style bistro in midtown Manhattan where they provide an exceptional dining experience and a 28-page wine list with a stellar selection of bottles from every region in France.
So let’s start with a region that has a long and rich history in winemaking and has produced some of the most expensive wines in the world: Burgundy.
Burgundy is a wine region that is renowned for producing quality wine, and it is the best-growing region for pinot noir and chardonnay. So it’s no surprise that most Burgundy whites are produced with chardonnay and the reds from pinot noir. Burgundy or La Bourgogne to the locals, is in east-central France. This temperate region has dry summers and autumns and soil rich in clay and Jurassic limestone. It is these conditions that help chardonnay and pinot noir varietals thrive.
Burgundy also has a highest number of appellations d'origine contrôlée (AOCs). The vineyards in Burgundy are classified into four levels, which are rated on the quality of the terroir and climate. These designations are clearly labeled on the bottle and reflected in the price point.
Grand Cru tops the list and is reserved for only the best vineyards in Burgundy. These labels are highly coveted by wine collectors as only around two percent receive this classification. In fact, there are only 34 Grand Cru vineyards in Burgundy.
One step down is Premier Cru which is awarded to around 12 percent, or 345, vineyards. Now you understand why Grand Cru wines are so expensive.
If you are looking for a wine from Burgundy that doesn’t break the budget, a Village Wine offers value without compromising quality. These vineyards may be positioned next to Premier or Grand Cru vineyards but are one step away from the top classification. And finally, Regional wines receive the lowest classification and are often created from a combination of vineyards instead of a single village. Often these wines will be labeled as a wine of Bourgogne instead of Burgundy.
While pinot noir and chardonnay are the two main varietals in Burgundy wine production, aligoté, pinot gris, gamay, and sauvignon blanc are also used. Aligoté is a white grape used to make dry white wines. Gamay is a cousin of pinot noir and is more well-known as a varietal grown in Beaujolais, which is south of Burgundy. It’s a light-bodied wine, similar to pinot noir. Sauvignon blanc originates from Bordeaux but it grows well pretty much everywhere. However, in Burgundy, there is only one appellation that allows Sauvignon in the wines: Saint Bris.
But let’s head back to Benoit’s wine list, and if a 28-page list is too much to navigate, head on over to the CorkRules’ podcast with certified Sommelier Grace Hood shares her quick recommendations on delicious bottles from the list.
About the CorkRules Podcast: Each week we pour a glass and share top restaurant wine lists 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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