Every season in Burgundy is distinctive and special. And while we appreciate what each one brings, there is something special about autumn. A feast for every sense, the months of September through to November offer a heady combination of golden hues cast on the restful vines, blushing pink mornings, and the deep scent of rich earth hanging in the air. As the poet John Keats noted, this is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.
Reminding us that the grape harvest is finished, the mushrooms are beginning to surface. And with the harvest over, the vines change color every day. From dazzling scarlets to elegant yellows, refined ambers to fiery oranges, the leaves are bathed in a warm low light that cloaks the hillsides. In fact, it was after the French Revolution that the “Cote d’Or” (consisting of the Cote de Nuits to the north and the Cote de Beaune to the south) was given its name ‘the Golden Slopes’ because of the stunning color of the vines in autumn.
If you’re searching for inspiration this autumn as to what to cook, then you won’t go wrong with a delicious and highly traditional turnip soup with mirepoix of escargot (snails). A mirepoix is a very fine dice of mixed vegetables and herbs, in this case made mostly of carrots, cabbage and mushroom. This autumnal soup has a lovely earthy quality, which heightens the mineral, gravelly flavors of the snails. A Chablis would go very well with these escargot, a true Burgundian specialty par excellence. Autumnal and winter dishes of game and roast meats are also very popular at this time of year; try them with meaty wines, such as those from Echezeaux (Côte de Nuits) or Ladoix white wines (Côte de Beaune) which display lovely ripe autumnal fruit flavors.
Villages all around Burgundy, from Pouilly-Fuisse through Meursault and Nuits St. Georges and on to Chablis, are abuzz with activity as the new wine settles in its barrels and celebrations of the harvest begin. As the days become cooler and fresher, we yearn for open fires, long evenings with family and friends, simmering stews and earthy autumnal flavors. And what better setting to enjoy the autumn and the food and wine of one of the most beautiful parts of France than our own Domaine de Cromey?