Thanks to the skyrocket prices of prestige Bourgogne wines realised at auction houses every year, the sensation arouses customers’ attention to the region. In fact, there are a lot of lesser-known appellations in the region that are worth digging into. Arnaud Bardary MS shared with DB Asia about his preferences from Bourgogne.
Q: Can you describe Bourgogne wines in three words?
A: Passion, emotion and immersive – drinking the wine feels like getting on a gastronomic trip as there are hundreds of wines and thousands of producers yet to be explored.
Q: Do you think Bourgogne wines are popular in the Hong Kong market?
A: It’s my fifth year here in Hong Kong and I can say the bloom of Bourgogne wines is getting a lot bigger year by year. Although the most sought-after labels in Hong Kong belong to the unique top 5-10% in the high-end sector, Bourgogne is really diverse and there are so many more “hidden areas” that drinkers would love to discover, for instances, Mercurey, Santenay and Pernand-Vergelesses.
Q: Do you think there are any misunderstandings towards Bourgogne wines amongst general drinkers?
A: Instead of misunderstanding, I think there is not enough understanding in the market. The most popular and famous Bourgogne wines that a majority of Hong Kong drinkers know about only stand a small portion of the entire wine production in the region. Again, Bourgogne is “vast” and more education for the market is necessary. It would be amazing to do blind tastings on different appellations – in my experience, we can often find wines with a good value from the region during the practice.
Q: As a sommelier, are you keen to list Bourgogne wines in your restaurants?
A: For sure. There are a lot of customers going after premium Bourgogne wines. With that being said, I always like to include some entry level Bourgogne wines from these lesser- known areas as these products are ideal for customers who are interested to learn more about the region. These wine can always bring surprises for them.
Q: Speaking of the lesser-known Bourgogne appellations, can you share a few favourites with us?
A: A lot of them. Producers count a lot to me when speaking of Bourgogne wine – a good producer in a less-known area could make much better wine than an average producer in a famous area. Speaking of appellations, Marsannay, Mercurey and Pernand-Vergelesses are my favourites. You can always find some impressive wines from these Village AOCs. As for the really “unknown areas” in Bourgogne, I think the Northern part of the region, for example Bourgogne Tonnerre, Bourgogne Epineuil and Irancy, is rather underrated and don’t have much exposure on the export market.
Q: How would you enjoy these Bourgogne wines usually?
A: In my leisure time, I like to enjoy Bourgogne wines with food. Both red and white can make a great pairing with Chinese food no matter it is dim sum or roasted duck. I drink a lot more whites than reds usually as I like the freshness and acidity of Chardonnay produced in the region – it always makes me salivate and I can never get enough!
To learn more about Arnaud Bardary MS’s personal preference on the lesser-known appellations of Bourgogne, check out the below video: