Wine Talk

Snooth User: tabednar

Novice to Burgundy & Bordeaux

Posted by tabednar, Nov 4, 2008.

Hello Guys,

I am a wine novice with a lot of interest in Burgundy and Bordeaux. I am still a student so I don't have a large wine budget. I was hoping you more experienced wine connoisseurs could direct me to some "entry-level" (preferably under $20) wines from these regions that reflect their terroir. An example from different sub-regions would be very nice. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!


Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 4, 2008.

Hey tabednar,

Being a novice with Bordeaux, and especially Burgundy, is a tough job,but I guess someone has to do it. Some of my favorite less expensive Bordeaux are

You can also get lucky with some "off" vintages that are not so off after all. Shop around and find a few retailers you trust and I'm sure you'll find deals in the upcoming months.

Burgundy on the other hand is much tougher. While with bordeaux one can find solid examples under $20 across a range of producers and vintages in Burgundy it is the odd wine that you get lucky with. The best bet at this price point would be the Pinot Noir/Gamay blends that go under the Passetoutgrains moniker;

and as you'll find many of these have priced themselves out of the reach of many folks already.

The straight Bourgognes from some of the big negociant producers are perfectly fine and in good years maybe even a bit better.

and while it is a different wine, Cru beaujolais is arguably the greatest value of the region and has almost nothing in common with the Nouveau that we see ever November. Among the best are
and my favorite

these are ageworthy, complex wines that offer compelling values at their price points. They are not the great Pinot Noir of Burgundy but they do cost a fraction of what those wines command. I strongly recommend you give them a try!

Reply by Philip James, Nov 5, 2008.

Hi tabednar - this could prove to be an expensive hobby, you couldnt have picked a cheaper region?

There are wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy in that price range, but one option is to try wines from the surrounding areas / fringe areas, for example, Buzet is just to the southwest of Bordeaux, and while it uses the same grapes tends to be cheaper:

And with Burgundy, as Greg suggests, you can start with Beaujolais and Macon wines:

Reply by tabednar, Nov 6, 2008.

So the more and more research I do I am seeing that you both are right and Burgundy is out of my price range at the moment. I have found some Bordeaux that I have really enjoyed and I am going to look into the suggestions that you have listed here as well as the Buzet area. I think I am slowly moving my focus to Beaujolais now. They interest me and resemble my price range a lot better. I like the suggestions for the Cru Beaujolais but can you suggest a specific wine, as in vintage, that are among your favorites? Thanks again for the feedback!

Reply by Philip James, Nov 7, 2008.

Tab - here are two that I like:

Both are Beaujolais cru's. Both represent the meatier, deeper, earthier style or Beaujolais, rather than the fruitier, lighter style found in some other cru's.

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