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Le vin de Bourgogne est le vin des rois*

The ride out to Dijon-Ville went through rolling hills in fog that made for a scene like a Cloudy Bay label. From Dijon we transferred to a local train that took us to Beaune, where we started off the day with lunch and a glass of wine. Foolishness! I forgot I'd be drinking wine all day. To add insult to injury, I liked my lunch wine better than most of the stuff I tasted later. But we did taste some good wines.

First stop, the cellars of Marché aux Vins. Self-guided tour, 16 bottles of wine to try, which all began to taste the same around #7 or 8. In fact, they were mostly puckery, raisiney wines that dried out my mouth and made me glad for the spittoons. I was a little bit sick of wine by the end of the tour--a personal first--but I sucked it up and we moved on to Patriarche pére et fils for 13 more samples.

The Patriarche was truly incredible and worth the visit. They stocked four or so million bottles of wine in a labyrinthine fifteen square kilometers of cellars (the biggest in Burgundy). I liked the Fleurie so well (despite being the cheapest wine we tasted) that I bought a couple of bottles to take home. It was representative of the dry grapey taste shared by most of the Burgundies I tasted, without being overpowering, and also adding a sweet floral note on top of what was already a lighter, fruitier body compared to its more sour cellarmates at Patriarche and even more so v. the Marché vins, which I found less palatable overall.

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We were done with wines then and wandered around town. Beaune was a healthy-seeming mix of old and new, and we found a working artist's studio with abstract paintings that I really enjoyed (see Alain Seguin's work at a super-crappy website here). Sadly, there were no prints for sale and we couldn't pony up the cash to buy an original. It would have been a bastard to stow in the carry-on bin, anyway.

And that's what we did in Beaune, Burgundy! Tomorrow, God willing and the creek don't rise, I'll tell you a little tale of how we celebrated our first anniversary in Champagne.

Categories: wine, travel

*"The wine of Burgundy is the wine of kings" --Louis XIV

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