Look the Other Way for Affordable Bourgogne #Winophiles

Affordable Bourgogne
This month, our French Winophiles writers are exploring affordable Burgundy (Bourgogne is now the preferred term). Admittedly, Affordable Bourgogne is something of an oxymoron. Most Bourgogne wines start at $30 in the US and rapidly go up from there. Why? Simple supply and demand. Bourgogne wines are based primarily on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, two immensely popular grape varieties and the region is known to produce some of the classic best examples worldwide. Bourgogne is a relatively small wine region with a total of 27,000 hectares (1 ha = 2.5 acres). Bordeaux has 125,000 ha, California has 250,000 ha planted. The prestigious Napa Valley has 17,500 ha under vine; try to find affordable Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon! Our Winophiles sleuths have some tricks up their sleeves, so be sure to check out their ideas for affordable wines from Bourgogne. Scroll down further in this post for a list of links to all their great articles!

Advice for Affordability in Bourgogne
No matter the region, if you’re looking for affordable wine, you’ll need to avoid the famous: famous villages, famous vineyards, famous winemakers. Look on a map, you’ll find the village of Saint Aubin right next door to the famous villages of Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet. Search through vineyard maps for the region where you can discover lesser vineyards adjacent to more famous ones. Prestigious vignerons earn higher prices for their wines, try finding lesser known up and coming winemakers. Another approach is to search out the minority grapes. Beyond the big two Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Bourgogne, there is another native white wine grape: Aligoté.

The Aligoté grape has been grown in Bourgogne since at least the early 17th century. It shares a similar genealogy with Chardonnay, though Aligoté is more aromatic. Once an unheralded grape allocated to the lesser vineyard land, Aligoté has recently been rediscovered as a worthwhile grape, and many vignerons are now exploring and promoting Aligoté wines. Luckily, it is still affordable. For true affordability, look for Bourgogne Aligoté, the regional level (base) of the Bourgogne pyramid. The Bouzeron AOC features Aligoté as a village level Bourgogne wine, there are no 1er or Grand Crus. Aligoté wines typically show aromas of pears, apples, lemon and mineral notes.

Domaine Georges Roy & Fils Bourgogne Aligoté

Domaine Georges Roy & Fils Bourgogne Aligoté AOP 2021 (11€ locally, $20 in the US) 12% abv
Eye: Pale lemon
Nose: Medium intensity aromas of white blossom, just ripe pear, just ripe green apple, crushed gravel, simple.
Mouth: Dry, high acidity, medium minus body with surprising medium-soft texture, medium alcohol, medium flavor intensity, medium plus finish. Flavors of fresh pears, green apple, crushed gravel.
Observations: Not a complex wine but fresh and delicious, perfect with our steamed mussels.

Bourgogne Aligoté and Steamed Mussels
We love steamed mussels as an easy dinner, infinitely adaptable to fresh ingredients available or flavors we’re are just longing to have. The process is simple, starting with sautéeing onions/shallots/leeks in butter or extra virgin olive oil in a large dutch oven or pot. Add some white wine and bring the heat to high. As soon as it’s boiling add the mussels or steamer clams and steam 5-10 minutes until the shells are all open. Cherry tomatoes are a nice addition, sliced in half and added with the clams. We add fresh herbs just before we take the mussels off the stovetop. We figure about 1 lb of mussels per person. Tonight, we sautéed leeks, added cherry tomatoes and fresh basil and parsley to finish. Don’t forget to serve the remaining broth on the side. Add a baguette and a simple salad for a perfect light meal. Aligoté is a perfect companion to the mussels, bringing light body and refreshing acidity with clean flavors.

French Winophiles Search for Affordable Bourgogne
Take a look at all the Bourgogne discoveries made by our French Winophiles writers. You’re sure to find something new!

Bourgogne Wines information on Aligoté
Fun Youtube video from Space City Somms on Aligoté
Bourgogne Wines Youtube video on Aligoté
The Aligoteurs, a group of Bourgogne vignerons working to show Aligoté has real potential.
Background on Aligoté from Bourgogne Wines

4 Responses to “Look the Other Way for Affordable Bourgogne #Winophiles”
  1. Cindy Lowe Rynning says:

    I love Aligote and I’m so happy you profiled this oft-overlooked wine from Bourgogne! So affordable, too! Cheers, Jeff.

  2. Wendy Klik says:

    Great advice and a wonderful dinner.

  3. Camilla Mann says:

    I have just recently tried an Aligoté though there was some debate on how to pronounce it. The accent aigu makes it clear though Thanks! Interesting advice on the affordable wines. Cheers!

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  1. […] Burrows of Food Wine Click explains why we should “Look the Other Way for Affordable […]

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