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Loire vs Burgundy

We're planning a cycling trip and the deciding factor is....food! Which area would you choose? Thanks so much.

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  1. While Burgundy has awesome cheeses, l would take the Loire for the food, sights, and the chenin blancs

    12 Replies
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      I have to respectfully disagree. I say that with the utmost truth as I highly regard your posts. While I agree that the sights and the chenin blanc are great in the Loire, we found the food ugh to eh at best. On the other hand Burgundy has delicious food (even the most basic stuff) great beauty, and both excellent red (Pinot noir) & white (chardonay) wines. To top it off, Burgundy is made for cycling!

      1. re: DaTulip

        I was in the Loire in February and found nothing wrong with the food and the prices can't be beat.
        Besides the Chenin Blanc, I really like the Cab Franc red wines of the Loire.

        Dinner for 2- Auberge de la Sansonniere, St Georges des Sept Voies, FR €94
        Deviled quail eggs with chive, salmon rolled with cream cheese, chive and tortillas
        Rabbit terrine with plum bathed in onion sauce, sesame seed cookie with something
        Ricotta custard wrapped in cucumber with oysters and delicious sauce
        Sea fish with finely cut chives and perhaps very finely chopped rhubarb and lemon sauce
        Veal medallions with a custard on a round of spinach soufflé
        Green salad with cheese layered with cured beef and a roll of parmesan cheese
        Amuse of coffee mousse over pineapple custard
        Pear poached in wine with a berry sorbet
        Chopped hazel nuts on black berry mouse, custard and short bread cookie crust
        Espresso
        2008 Bernard Baudry, Chinon, Le Clis Guillet, Crovert les Corteaux, France

        I do not mean to belittle Burgundy where I went next. I had outstanding food there also, but I think the prices are higher.

        1. re: BN1

          Nor do I mean to belittle the Loire. The times we've been we just never had food that was memorable. The wine, people, & scenery are all excellent! Burgundy has my heart...I admit my prejudice. :-)

          1. re: DaTulip

            Food takes top billing for us over wine. Epoisses is our favorite cheese. Can't imagine what it is like to eat it in the area it was produced.

            1. re: DaisyM

              We stayed in this charming b&b in the farm where époisses was originated:
              http://www.portail-bnb.com/english/fi...
              It is near a whole bunch of serious eating towns like Vezelay and Avallon, and is not far from Dijon, Beaune, ferme de la Ruchotte.

              1. re: Parigi

                Oh, my goodness! So please tell me...was the epoisses so much superior then what you've had in the US? How was it served and with what?

                1. re: DaisyM

                  The utterly charming b&b is no longer a farm, although part of the old farm is still visible today across the courtyard.
                  In any case it was very thrilling to be at the pays d'origine of Eposses (in the village of, duh, Epoisses). But many restaurants and many markets in that area sell excellent epoisses. We had an exquisite runny one at Ma cuisine in Beaune.

                  1. re: Parigi

                    I think Burgundy is the winner. The only question is, will all the cycling make up for all the epoisses we will surely be eating?

                    1. re: DaisyM

                      There are currently three makers of Epoisses. Berthault as well as a commercial company makes only thermally pasteurized cheese. The third Jean Gaugry makes au lait cru and a thermal one for export. He has a stand in the Dijon covered market and his farm is near Gevrey-Chambertin. l have even his product to be quite salty the last 2 or 3 times l have had it. The one that comes into the states both in the coupe and the 250 gm size is generally Berthault, but have seen Gaugry in the past. If you want a smelly, you might try to find a ripe Maroilles or Vieux Lille from Northern France. They are wonderful as well, as are Muenster and Gerome, both from Alsace.

                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                        Gaugry (in Brochon near Gevry-Chambertin) is a "commercial" operation, but the cheeses are still made directly by the 30 or so people working there. You can even view their cheese making process if you go early in the morning. They are also the originators of Ami du Chambertin - similar to epoises. If you do the private tour they'll do a tasting for you. It was interesting for me as I hadn't tasted a young epoises and been able to compare it directly to a more mature one. The shop is open normal shop hours.

                        I highly recommend www.detours-in-france.com. They can arrange/guide your tour of Gaugry if you want & they specialize in biking tours/support. Ask for Sarah!

              2. re: DaisyM

                I too love Epoisses but have found the pasteurized ones disappointing. If you have only had Epoisses in the US it is the pasteurized type. The difference between it and the raw milk (lait cru) kind is huge. Even in France you will find a lot of pasteurized Epoisses these days, so be sure to ask or read the label. If it says "lait entier" it is not lait cru. You will be amazed at the difference.

      2. It looks like this board is split 50-50 Loire vs Burgundy. It's difficult to pit one region of France against another!

        I love both places, I love almost all the parts of France for different reasons. I do lean toward the Loire, I actually love the rolling hills, the many rivers, and the food is wonderful. Vouvray is one of my favorite wines, although Touraine wines in general are terrific. Chinon and Bourgeuil also.

        Food is wonderful, the Pork Rillettes, St Maure cheese, and the original Tarte Tatin. Ahhh!!!

        8 Replies
        1. re: menton1

          Everyone has helped so much! Thank you. The trip had been Brugges and Paris....but it now looks like Burgundy and Paris.

          1. re: DaisyM

            You can have it all. Bruges is an easy day-trip (first wrote drip, duh) from Paris.

            1. re: DaisyM

              Not the right board perhaps, but Bruges is great too. Esp. for cycling (and chocolate & beer). If possible do Bruges & Burgundy - spending less time in Paris. That is if cycling is a focus of course.

              1. re: DaTulip

                I'm going to have to rethink this, then.

                1. re: DaisyM

                  Belgium is made for cycling & the food is good too. We bought some cycling router map books, but there are many online for free. I'm on my phone now, but will post some links for you when I get home to my laptop. Belgium & Burgundy (esp. Belgium) are so cycling friendly. Cafes/bistros don't even look at you sideways if you turn up in cycling togs.

                  1. re: DaisyM

                    Okay - as promised, here is some (acutally a lot of) additional information:
                    BRUGES/BELGIUM:
                    Here is where we purchased our cycling maps:
                    http://www.omnimap.com/catalog/cyclin...
                    http://www.mapsworldwide.com/cycling_...

                    Here are links to some of those free sites with good cycling information.
                    http://www.fietsroute.org/indexuk.php
                    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/...
                    http://www.s97358565.onlinehome.us/cy...
                    http://www.belgiumtheplaceto.be/walki...

                    These sites/blogs have some helpful information too:
                    http://cyclinggypsies.wordpress.com/r...
                    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree...
                    http://www.cycletourer.co.uk/cycletou...

                    If you have a handheld or cycling GPS those are helpful too. I think Garmin even makes some maps with cycle routes built into them. We just have the plain old road maps version but it works great.

                    When in Belgium we like to stay at Hotel Patritius in Bruges. They have some private garages where you can park your car and bikes, they are very friendly and helpful, the rooms/breakfast are great and reasonable and they are well located to boot:
                    http://www.hotelpatritius.be/

                    BURGUNDY:
                    This site has a wealth of information:
                    http://www.burgundytoday.com/sporting...

                    This site has some well described tours:
                    http://www.burgundyeye.com/activities...
                    http://www.burgundyeye.com/activities...

                    A couple of sites from the regional tourism bureaus:
                    http://www.burgundy-tourism.com/ - just put “cycling” into the search box and you’ll get a lot of info
                    http://www.burgundy-by-bike.com/
                    http://www.cotedor-tourisme.com/index... – there is a section with a downloadable brochure on the canal route
                    http://www.burgundy-canal.com/bicycle...

                    Also here is a book on Burgundy cycling that you can buy – I don’t have one myself, but a friend has recommended it to me:
                    http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback...

                    1. re: DaTulip

                      DaTulip, how much do I owe you for planning the trip for us? Thank you for your generosity!

                      1. re: DaisyM

                        Quick, save DaTulip's messages.

            2. There is a lovely book by Sarah Leah Chase called Pedaling Through Burgundy that might provide the right balance of tasting and cycling.