… Once upon a time, there were two young girls with a passion for food and wine. One beautiful day the girls were exploring the region of Burgundy and decided to make a stop in the tiny village of Volnay, which they heard produced the most beautifully poetic wine in all of the land. They pulled up in their little car which also provided their home for the month, to find the most idyllic little village centred around a tiny church. Ever inquisitive and always in search of adventure, the two girls explored the village and came across a courtyard with a wooden door. After knocking lightly, they were told to ‘entrez‘, so they timidly pushed the door open. The two girls couldn’t quite believe what lay before their eyes… a treasure chest of a room crammed full with wine bottles, receipts, candlesticks, antiques and old fashioned wine memorabilia. In the middle of the clutter was a table, around which were gathered four French ladies, chatting and tasting away. Upon finishing their business, they looked towards the two girls with warming smiles, and asked how they could be of assistance. One of the girls said she was on a quest to find the best wine of the land. The oldest lady took the girls through a number of light and perfumed concoctions which they tasted freely. Upon deciding on their favourite bottle, the two girls went on their way, giddy with joy at what they had witnessed (and with the effects of the potions). What’s more, the kind lady told them of a cosy shelter where they could feast on the finest food in the kingdom, a secret kept between only those in the know. They left feeling extremely satisfied, and continued on their quest, tummies filled and hearts happy…
This fairy tale is a sequence of events that panned out on our trip to Volnay to buy my dad a bottle of his favourite wine for Christmas. When opening that wooden door we were speechless at the pure cliché of the place, yet it was very much real! The wine merchant allowed us to try an array of bottles including a beautiful honied Volnay Santenots and she also directed us to a restaurant in a nearby village where we could experience authentic Burgundy cooking. This local haunt (Auberge de Vieux Vigneron) is usually booked up well in advance, yet she had just cancelled a table for two so told us to snap up the reservation. We ate like Kings, sharing classic jambon persillé and Burgundy snails that bubbled away in a little terracotta pot. To follow was the chefs twist on Boeuf Bourgignon, combining the classic local Charolais beef (grown slowly and given spring water and white shamrock for fattening) with Burgundy snails added to rich Cabernet Sauvignon to create a warming tender stew full of local flavour. We were surrounded by local Burgundy folk, not a mutter of a tourist in earshot, huddled around the burning fire. As we were leaving, we were definitely singing the song for happy Burgundy people ‘Bon Bourgignon‘. What a day!!
- The Best Beaune (Burgundy) Blog you will read (France 2012 part I) (backintimetravel.wordpress.com)
- The place they call Burgundy… (vineyardwineshop.wordpress.com)