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Jan 20, 2009 04:30 PM

Good Burgundy?

Can someone recommend a decent burgundy for the making of Beef Bourguignon? I know it should be something you would be willing to drink but shouldn't be a $60.00 bottle. I just don't know enough about French wines - I'm a California wine girl, myself. Anybody have suggestions?

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  1. If you mean for the marinade, I don't think you need to spring for the burgundy. Any decent pinot will do, since it's the same grape. You won't really taste the difference, and It will be much cheaper. Crossings makes a nice, solid, inexpensive pinot (13/bottle at my local shop), and I've had success with a Mark West as well. If you really want to use a burgundy, I'd ask the folks at the local shop to recommend a basic bourgonne rouge; but I'd save the burgundy for drinking. Personally, I'm fond of the Matrot Blagny. By the way, I always use short ribs when I make beef bourguignon; the bones make the sauce even richer. Good luck!

    1. Personally, I'd never ever use real burgundy for beef bouguignon. It's just too precious for that, especially these days where even the crappiest village-level one can run you $20. I like using a cheap Spanish tempranillo, Portuguese douro, or a Beaujolais. I've found those get you close enough.

      I don't have a source, but I'm pretty sure that the idea that you need to use something you'd be willing to drink to cook with has been pretty much debunked. I mean, don't use vinegar, or that stuff labeled "cooking wine" (*shiver*), but just about any plonk will do. I frequently use wine I wouldn't drink and get good results.

      1. Totally agree with above posts.
        I laugh whenever I read "Brasato al barolo".
        Be it in Italy or elsewhere.
        Nobody in his/her sane mind has ever used a barolo for cooking.

        2 Replies
        1. re: RicRios

          Or when you find an old, (read really old) cookbook that calls for not happening. I do use Burgundy when I make the dish...I just find that other wines are too dense...but I will use a little wine like the Domaine Drouhin Laforet or something like it, it runs about $13.00 in my area but in a pinch I would use a Pinot from Languedoc or a really light domestic.

          1. re: bubbles4me

            I like the combination of light berry fruit, light but raspy tannins and bright acid that Pinot Noir provides (and Côtes du Rhône and Beaujolais don't), so I also tend to reach for a Burgundy, usually a low-end generic Burg from one of the négociants. There are also some decent-for-cooking Pinot Noirs coming out of eastern Europe these days, in particular Romania. Similarly styled and even less expensive wines include Borsao (and some other unoaked Spanish Garnachas) and Szekszardi (Hungarian Kékfrancos/Blaufränkisch).

        2. Ah. This has come up before. You may be misinterpreting the title of the dish: It's beef in the style of the Burgundy region, not beef in Burgundy wine. When the dish is made in Burgundy, and the way it's always been made, is to use a rustic, peasant red wine, not the "high-class" wine that we understand to be Burgundy. Any inexpensive, fruity red will work. Save your pricey Burgundy for drinking.

          Here's another thread:
          Wines for Boeuf Bourguignon?

          And here's an article from the New York Times:
          It Boils Down to This: Cheap Wine Works Fine

          1 Reply
          1. re: maria lorraine

            I usually use the unwanted gifted wines that people give to us.

          2. Thanks for all the suggestions. I had beef bourguignon in a little restaurant in Paris (Le Volant) a couple of years ago and it was so good I wanted to lick my plate. :) So I'd like to try to make something similar and I would like to definitely use French wine - I'm one of those that tries to use the wine from the region that the dish comes from, whether Spanish, Italian or French, etc. And my rule of thumb for all cooking with wine is that if I wouldn't drink it, I won't cook with it - thus, no two buck Chuck from TJ's for me. I think I'll try a French Pinot, or Beaujolais, then. And Maria, thanks for the extra info via those links. Thanks again for all the posts!