On a French Waterways river cruise, let the regions of Burgundy and Beaujolais sweep you away with their fine wine, delicious food, and scenic countryside. Whether you are a casual wine drinker or a knowledgeable aficionado, the sprawling vineyards and delicious local wines of Burgundy and Beaujolais will turn you into an oenophile from the moment you say, “Cheers!”
The wines of Burgunday are some of the most loved and most expensive of any you’ll find in France, to include Volnay and Chambolle-Musigny. There is no lack of scenery to feast your eyes on here, as Burgundy boasts more vineyards than any other region in France, including Bordeaux.
Head into Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy, for a blend of historical architecture and the fruits of its thriving wine-making industry. For a taste of what this region has to offer, take a wine tour, complete with complimentary tastings. As you wend your way down a staircase into a well-stocked wine cellar, sip on samples of the area’s silky smooth wines and enjoy the taste as it gently grazes your palate. Once back outside, sit to drink a glass of locally produced Pinot Noir or Chardonnay and then stroll the streets of Beaune.
For a further selection of fine wines, make your way south of Burgundy to Beaujolais. Most of Beaujolais wine is made from the Gamay grape, a thin-skinned, light-red grape. On the third Thursday of each November, the Beaujolais Noveau, the region’s most popular wine, is released. This causes a mad scramble as wine lovers try to get their hands on bottles of these fruity, light- to medium-red wines, which are a great preview of the vintages that will be released later.
It’s no secret that pairing the right wine with the right food can make the difference between a good meal and a great meal. For delicious cuisine in a charming atmosphere, tour the cobblestone streets of Lyon, one of the oldest regions in France. Here is where you will find the bistros known as bouchons, which serve the French version of comfort food known as cuisine de bonne femme (“house wife cooking”). For the best of both worlds, order the coq au vin, chicken stewed in a wine sauce with mushrooms, bacon, onions, and fresh herbs. And of course, a nice bottle of burgundy wine!
Poet John Keats once said, “Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather, and a little music played out-of-doors by somebody I do not know,” a sentiment you will echo as you tour this beautiful region and sample the delicious wines of Burgundy and Beaujolais.