How much does wine tasting cost? Recommendations?
August 17, 2018 2:01 AM   Subscribe

I am travelling to Burgundy in a month. As this is one of the most popular wine regions, I'd like to learn more about wines. My intention is to pay for a wine tasting events in a winery or two. Reading through articles, I've come to a conclusion that those are worth the money. The one I found appropriate is Chateau de Pommard wine tasting. The price is 20 euros for 45 minutes. Is this a good price? I read positive reviews, it seems to be informative and professional, yet casual - which is exactly what I need.
posted by Liliana to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Having been to several wine tastings - of varying degrees of seriousness - this seems like a good deal to me. It's a small group so you will have an opportunity to learn something as opposed to just drinking wine. If you are not a regular Burgundy drinker, you may be surprised at how light and delicate many of these wines are. Enjoy!
posted by ncouchman at 6:09 AM on August 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

During the session itself, it looks like you'll be getting four three-or-so-ounce pours, along with some education about wine, wine tasting, the vineyards, the winemaker, etc. They probably through in a tour of their chateau and maybe even the grounds? Fine deal for 20 Euro.
posted by MattD at 7:23 AM on August 17, 2018

It looks like a short course/workshop free with the wine more or less. Not a bad deal at all if you've never done this before.

Paid a lot more for less. Have fun!
posted by bonehead at 8:51 AM on August 17, 2018

20 euros for a class and wine testing doesn't seem expensive. It looks like a very nice place. Should be a fun exercise.

Having said that, if the intent is to get to know Burgundy wines through this testing, you are probably not going to meet that objective through this particular testing. It seems that they are only testing their entry level wines (which kind of makes sense;, this is a pretty expensive wine region and Pommard's higher end wines don't typically lend themselves to pleasure in their early years). Also, Pommard is only one village in Cote d'or. If you are looking to get an introduction to Burgundy wines, you should probably try to find a testing (if available or possible) that covers a number of different villages from the south to the north.

But as a standalone testing/visit at a winery in the historic village of Pommard, it should be quite interesting!
posted by justlooking at 10:26 AM on August 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you've never done this in France, wine tasting is not A Thing like it is here in the United States. French wineries don't usually have open tasting rooms for visitors with full time staff just waiting to pour you a glass of free wine. If you show up at a winery and ask nicely, a lot of French winemakers would be glad to share some wine with you. And some of the more commercial ones do have some sort of regular organized thing (particularly in Burgundy). But it's not just an open welcome like we expect in the US.

All of that is my way of saying I'd gladly pay 20€ for someone to meet me, treat me as an honored guest, and explain things to me in English. Doubly so if they're pouring good wine at the tasting.
posted by Nelson at 3:10 PM on August 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Don't underestimate the fun of tasting with a small producer. Sometimes the "sign" that wine is for sale is as simple as an empty bottle on the end of a low wall. Speaking French obviously helps, but enthusiasm can take you a long way. Thanks to French inheritance laws, Burgundy is divided up to what, as an outsider, feels like an absurd degree. Someone might be entitled to the grapes from a single row of vines in a prestigious vineyard, which itself might only be a few acres in size. Often these tastings are free, though you should buy at least one bottle. That said, the rule of thumb is that the producer matters more than the vineyard, and the best producers are just ridiculously expensive. I used to buy Burgundy regularly 15 years ago but now even "midrange" premier cru wines are $50-100. The high-end grand crus are twice to 20 times that. And the famous producers probably sold all their wine before it was even bottled and don't have any to taste anyway. So if you're looking for something that's more in the range of $20 and available, you'll want to hit the satellite appellations instead of the famous names. Macon, Fixin, Mercurey, or even the broadest classification, ordinary Bourgogne. Keep an eye out for aligote and passetoutgrains, which are the white and red versions of table wine. Most Burgundy is 100% pinot noir or chardonnay, but these are not and are priced much more for drinking. Also cremant sparkling wine made in the traditional method (like Champagne, but the French are really touchy about that word) is delicious and half the price it would be if the bottle said Champange. If you really want to branch out, Marc de Bourgogne is grappa from Burgundy, certainly distinctive though more of a scent experience than an actual beverage.
posted by wnissen at 4:52 PM on August 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

« Older Night fright   |   Am I an incompetent human being Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.