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  • Day36

    Nuits Saint Georges

    May 6, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 5 °C

    After a very fast 300 km/h TGV ride from Marseilles to Lyon, we had to transfer onto a conventional train to bring us to Beaune.

    When we arrived in Lyon, the temperature was only 7°C, and all the doors to the train station seemed to be open. It was FREEZING in there! Fortunately, one of the cafes in the station had heating AND room for us, so we hung out there until our train departed.
    The two-hour ride to the Burgundy region was easy enough, and we arrived in Beaune shortly after noon on Sunday. Once again, we discovered that Europeans take their day of rest very seriously, and we could find very few shops or restaurants open.

    We also discovered that Beaune is a very, VERY expensive place to visit. Restaurant prices are three to four times higher than what we were paying in Italy and, surprisingly, the local wines are no bargain either. OK, I know Pinot Noir is the heartbreak grape and the very limited production by some wineries can drive prices sky high, but in the old town even the run of the mill Pinots are priced very similarly to what we’d pay in Canada.

    Thankfully, our AirBnB host left us a very nice bottle of Veuve Ambal Cremant de Bourgogne chilling in the fridge for us to enjoy, and enjoy it we did. I’d never heard of this producer before, but this wine was so good, they are now on our hit list for a winery visit.

    On Monday morning we went out to the local Carrefour Supermarket and stocked our pantry with food to consume while we’re here. It’s not just the €12.00 Margherita pizza or the €72.00 lobster thermidor restaurant prices. It’s that fact that none of the restaurants here offer more than one “vegetarian” dish on their menus, if they offer any at all. Between 2016 and 2018 Le Jardin d’Alice was the only vegetarian restaurant in town, but they closed their doors last year. It’s hard to believe that we had less trouble finding things to eat in Italy than in France, but that is the state of affairs, at least in this part of the country. Hopefully when we get to Paris, things will improve.

    After our shopping spree we hopped on the train to Nuits Saint Georges to do some serious wine tasting. Our first stop was at Le Caveau Moillard where we sipped both their white and rose Cremant de Bourgogne, their Meursault, the Savigny Les Beaune Villages and their Premier Cru Nuits Saint Georges. We liked them all well enough, but not that much that we were willing to part with €89.00 for the Premier Cru.

    Next, we walked over to Dufouleur Pere Et Fils where we got to taste three of their Pinots, the second of which tasted like it had been open too long and was a little Port-like. The owner was, however, very congenial and our visit there was most pleasant. Also, it was the only one where we actually got to visit, and taste, in the 300-year-old cellars where the wines are stored. Best of all, this was our only tasting of the day that had no fee attached. Score!

    When I was researching Nuits Saint Georges wineries, I came across Morin Pere et Fils, where no reservation is required and whose specialty is Cremant de Bourgogne. How could we resist? We walked the 1.5 kms to the address on the website only to find ourselves in front of a very modern wine store in an industrial park. WTF?!? I asked the woman in the shop where we could find Morin and she directed us to L’Imaginarium, just the other side of the traffic circle. Huh…… OK.

    Off we went and after another kilometer or so we walked into a huge wine emporium that operates as L’Imaginarium, which is owned by le Groupe Boisset. As it turns out, Morin was gobbled up about ten years ago, perhaps by Boisset, who owns and operates dozens of wineries and distilleries not only on France, but in Scotland, the US and Canada! In any case, we convinced the young man who greeted us that we were there to taste Cremant and only Cremant, and he graciously took our €20.00 and proceeded to serve us five different bubblies from producer Louis Bouillot, a rose, a blanc de noir, an extra-dry blanc de blanc, a 50/50 Pinot Chard blend and a 2014 vintage. They were all very different and quite delicious except for the overly exuberant bubbles on the vintage wine. We left with a bottle of the rose.

    After all that wine, most of which we did not spit, we found our way to the train station and weaved our way back to our accommodations where we had a nice hot bowl of soup and a salad for dinner.
    Life sure is good.
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