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A rack of aged bottles of wine from Beaune, Burgundy, France.
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Beaune

Names mean a lot here, and in the commune of Beaune, considered the wine capital of Burgundy, there is no shortage of them. There are some fabulous smaller producers to get to know – usually a great way of discovering both quality and value. The appellation Beaune includes an astounding 42 Premier Crus produced within the commune of Beaune itself. But Beaune has much to offer for the visitor alongside the delights of the vine. The Hospice de Beaune, with its gorgeous colored roof tiles is a must-see, especially on the third Sunday in November when it hosts its renowned annual wine auction. Also worthy of a visit are Les Ramparts de Beaune – the town’s fortified walls, built to withstand an onslaught of barbarians in a tumultuous period in its history over seven hundred years ago. Happily, the visitors nowadays are more likely to be crowds of wine lovers rather than barbarians, and they can enjoy the town’s excellent hospitality, all built on the fabulous wines it produces.

White Wines

Beaune whites are among the finest that Burgundy has to offer; intense gold in color, brilliant and arresting, just oozing quality. From aromas of freshly-cut grass and citrus you’ll find flavors of fruit and minerality. They tend to be a viscous gold flecked with green. They may be enjoyed for youthful fruitiness but will age admirably, especially in the better Premier Cru vineyards. Pair them with risotto, white sauces or shellfish. When older and fleshier they enfold cheeses such as Cîteaux, Comté, and creamier goat cheeses.

Red Wines

Red wines from Beaune have a luxurious ruby hue, sometimes hinting at mauve. On the nose you can get red berries and underbrush, with a nice balanced flavor which is not too heavy on the acidity and with great, firm textures. Generally, wines from the northern end of the commune tend to be more often intense and powerful, and those from the southern end are smoother and fuller. Great with roasted meats with strong flavors, and for cheeses choose the more 'gamey' style: Époisses, Soumaintrain, Munster, Maroilles.

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