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Frequently Asked Questions About Burgundy Red

What are some top most popular Burgundian Red wines?

This may not be an exhaustive list, but here are some of the most popular Burgundy Red wines:

Is Pinot Noir same as Burgundy

Burgundy is a wine region in France and refers to wines produced in the region. Pinot Noir grape is the major red grape grown in Burgundy, but red Burgundy is sometimes referred to as Pinot Noir.

What colour is Burgundy wine?

Burgundy wine is of two types – the red Burgundy which is made from Pinot Noir is red in color with varying hues such as cherry, brick red, garnet, purplish red, ruby red, tile red and

The white Burgundy is quite different in colour, having varying appearances such as pale yellow, green gold, white gold, dark golden, yellow, orange yellow, green, dark yellow or straw yellow.

Is Burgundy red wine sweet?

Burgundy red wine is a dry wine, this means that the residual sugar has been fermented.

What makes Red Burgundy wine special?

Burgundy red wine (and white wine) is greatly imparted by its terroir, probably more than red wines from other regions on earth. Terroir is simply a sense of place, meaning you taste the region from which a wine is made when you drink it.

What does red Burgundy wine taste like?

Red Burgundy is delicate and gentle on the palate with a high acidity, like refreshing Tay raspberries or crisp English Cox's Orange Pippin apples, but this taste varies because the wine is greatly imparted by its terroir, so the wine from Gevry-Chambertin will likely not have same taste as the one from Morey St. Denis.

On the nose of Burgundy red wine differs. It could be dark cherry, pepper, cinnamon, truffles, licorice, wet leaves or meaty.

On the palate, the thin tannins give it a lean texture, outbursts of flavors, dry, and racy acidity. Thanks to the limestone soil and cool climate.

On the eyes, Pinot Noir which is the major grape for making the red Burgundy wines has a pale light intensity colour, and is naturally thin-skinned.

What should I eat my Red Burgundy wine with?

Best pairings with red Burgundy in the Bourgogne region are Charcuterie, mild cheese like goat cheese, seared tuna and chicken or rabbit.

For good quality red Burgundy that is 2-5 years old-, a rack of lamb or seared duck breast are very good options. They can also be paired with meals that form a good combo with Bourgogne rouge.

Information About Burgundy Red

Burgundy is a wine region in eastern France, tracing along the Saône River, a tributary of the Rhone. It is popularly known for being the producers of the unique red and white Burgundy wine. The fame of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes can easily be traced to the red and white burgundy respectively.

Aside from its rich blend of flavour and spice, the most eminent characteristic of Burgundy wine is that of its terroir which is given it by the vineyard, in contrast to Bordeaux where much importance is given to individual producers when it comes to flavour.

Burgundy reds usually peak at between five to eight years of aging and should have a dry and smooth feel on your palate. It has light tannins with an acidity ranging from medium to high and an ABV of 11.5-13.5%.

Burgundy’s long and rich history in the winemaking industry has earned it the status of being one of the world’s wine brands that make some of the best and unique quality wines in all of history.

One key thing that makes red Burgundy outstanding is the terroir, which you’d be probably reading more about as you go down the article, but for starters, let’s just say that “terroir” as a term that spells out the uniqueness in a region, accounts for the region’s climate, rainfall, type of soil, climatic condition, altitude and so on.

All these factors combined with the growing conditions and the producer’s history and efficiency accounts for the overall quality of the wine.

Red Burgundy boasts of several varieties of styles in production, and their different flavour profiles are strictly dependent on the customized appellations from which the grapes were grown.

History of Burgundy

Wine production started in Burgundy as early as the 2nd century A.D. The region was confirmed as one of the world's best as a result of the millennia that followed. The Catholic Church was predominantly in control of Burgundy wine production during its early stage.

The Cistercian order who had the largest wall-surrounded vineyard during the medieval age was the first to detect the unique and delicate qualities bequeathed by the vineyard, because wines from different vineyards varied. This discovery became a precursor for the modern Cru system and the emphasis of terroir.

In 1861, an official classification of Burgundy wine began and in 1936 it was formalized on the national level under Appellations d'origine Contrôlées (AOC) laws.

Burgundy vineyards fell into disarray in the 20th century during World War II, but they recovered within a short period of time, owing to the use of artificial fertilizer which later resulted in a downturn because of its overuse which depleted the nutrients of the soil.

Fortunately, between 1985 and 1995, an ardent renewal effort took place and this helped Burgundy become one of the world's best producers of wine.

Wine Regions in Burgundy

Burgundy prides in five primary winemaking regions with different soil compositions that give the wines their unique touch of terroir. These regions stretch from the north beginning from Auxerre and ending at Macon in the same region.


Popularly known for its crisp Chardonnay, this region is situated farthest north in Burgundy. An interesting fact about this region is that it is nearer to Champagne than it is to Côte de Nuits. It has a much cooler climate in comparison to regions that are bounded to it by the south and the minerality of the soil which is called Kimmeridgian (due to the deposit of limestone) favours the ripening of grapes.

The Chardonnay is the primary grape grown here and this is why only White Burgundy wines are found here.

Cute de Nuits

Renowned for producing the most expensive Pinot Noir, this region makes wine of the Grand Cru classification. The composition of the soil here varies, with Grand Cru vineyards having lighter soil colour and richer in limestone which is a property that allows better drainage.

Côte de Beaune

The geographical outlook here is that of rolling hills with flat and open valleys. The northern part is dominated by Burgundy Red but tending towards the south you will find places like Chassagne-Montrachet and Meursault where white Burgundy is made.

Ninety percent of the Grand Cru vineyards here are dedicated to Chardonnay. The only area with Grand Cru red wine vineyard here is The Aloxe-Corton.

Côte Chalonnaise

Wines produced here are majorly Premier Crus. You can get Burgundy wines of high quality here too, but there are no Grand Crus. The Burgundy red of Cote Chalonnaise differs in intensity from those of Côte D'or which are fruitier with a rustic edge fit for immediate consumption rather than cellaring.

The most recognized wine with a powerful and structured Pinot Noir is Mercurey and it makes up two-third of the wines made in Chalonnaise.


Located in the extreme south of Burgundy, the predominant grape in this warmer region is Chardonnay. In contrast to that of Chablis, the Chardonnay here is richer, powerful and rounder and these attributes are due to the nature of the climate and soil. Wines in this classification are purely Chardonnay and are quite cheaper. The most popular AOC here is the Pouilly-Fuissé.

Classification of Burgundy Wine

There are four classifications of Burgundy wine based on the Cru system. You will find one of these labels on a bottle of Burgundy wine. In Burgundy where these wines are produced, it is very pertinent to not only attach the names of the wines but also the producer’s name, as more than one producer can make the same variations of a Burgundy wine. You would also usually find the producer’s name alongside the wine’s name on the bottle label.

The vineyards in Burgundy are not owned by one person, there are often many owners per vineyard. For instance, Le Chambertin is a vineyard in Burgundy owned by 21 producers who may decide to sell some of the production.

The following classification broadly borders on the type of Burgundy wine produced in an area rather than on who the producer(s) are or is.

Grand Cru

This is often regarded as the best classification of wines from the best of vineyards in Burgundy. It is said that only about two percent of the vineyards in Burgundy receive this classification. Wines with this label are the most expensive. Grand Cru wines are majorly aged between two to seven years and they are designed for cellaring, having delicate and subtle aromas.

Burgundy has 33 Grand Cru vineyards which are solely concentrated in the Côtes de Nuit and Côtes de Beaune. These vineyards are almost never found on flat surfaces, but majorly on sloppy hills in order for erosion to be checkmated.

Also, the hills facilitate better drainage and ensure the grapes and soil have good exposure both to natural growth stimulants and also to potential patronizers.

Premier Cru

These are wines from vineyards with exceptional quality but with just a step below the Grand Cru on the Burgundy quality level pyramid that has Grand Cru on the top followed closely by Premier Cru, Villages and Regional at the bottom.

With about 635 designated vineyards, Premier Cru makes up about ten percent of all the vineyards in Burgundy with names like Les Charmots, Les Chaumes and Les Cailles.

Village Wines

This classification is found in Burgundy with a blend of grapes from several vineyards in one of the 42 villages of Burgundy. The name of the village where the grapes were sourced from is usually labelled on the bottle. These wines represent 36 percent of all Burgundy. They have 44 AOC and some of the popular producers includes Mercuery, Pouilly-Fuissé and Meursault.

Regional Wines

These wines are considered to be at the lowest level of the classification and are labelled Bourgogne. Unlike Village wines, Regional wines are made from a combination of vineyards from different villages within Burgundy. Fifty-two percent of wines made in Burgundy belong to this classification and excellent wines for immediate enjoyment can be found in regional wines.

Regional constitutes about 50% of all wine produced in Burgundy with an AOC of 23 and boasts of producers like Bourgogne, Coteaux Bourguignons and Crémant de Bourgogne.

Characteristics of Burgundy Red

Aside from being one of the most romanticized red wines in the world, here are some interesting
things about Red Burgundy:

  • Very young or very old Red Burgundy wines reflect fresh fruit notes.

  • It has an aroma that is a blend of raspberries, blackberries and cherry.

  • Floral notes of rose, peony or violet are evident in well-aged high-end wines.

  • Plant tones such as tobacco or cut grass can be detected in young, immature wines.

  • Wine made from very mature grapes smells of cooked fruit such as figs or jam.

  • Wines with long elevage will display more spiciness such as cinnamon, bay or ginger as well as coffee, licorice and grilled almonds.

  • Wines with scent of meat, game or of earthy undergrowth with most fruit tones disappearing completely are often matured wines.

  • Aside from full-bodied, more aged Red Burgundy is not paired with rich, hearty red meat dishes.

Did you know that Gamay is also a Burgundy red wine? It is planted extensively in the southern border of Burgundy.

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