Where the Cheese Is as Stinky as the Wine Is Great — Bourgogne

Ok, so not all the cheese is stinky, and maybe there are some mediocre bottles of Bourgogne out there. But some of the cheese has such a deep, pungent aroma that you’d swear it’s been sprinkled with ammonia, and the average bottle of wine is so good you almost wish you could have paid more for it. Haha, just kidding, I never wish to pay more for anything and tbh I’m a little wine drunk right now — still sipping a lovely red blend we picked up during our trip to Bourgogne last weekend.

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Update: we moved to France. After dividing our Brooklyn apartment into piles — take with (suitcase), take with (shipping crate), sell or donate — we boarded a one-way flight from JFK to CDG. Once in Paris, we set out to take care of the immediate logistics — securing my visa appointment, ordering French SIM cards and opening a new bank account (just kidding IRS, no foreign accounts here! (sorry, the former tax law nerd in me emerges from time to time)). Ever since a couple weeks before leaving New York, we had been hustling non-stop — making lists, scratching items off those lists, and then making new lists of things to get done. When some friends invited us to join them for a weekend outside of Paris, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to come up for some air.

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So, in the wee hours of a Saturday morning, we picked up our economical, egg-shaped rental car and started driving southeast. En route to meet our friends, G and I stopped in Chablis — a region of delicious, dry white wine. First, we hit up the local market, where wine producers were pouring generous sips of their grape juice, and where I confirmed my truth: I might prefer buttery Crémant to its popular bubbly cousin, Champagne. Then, we had lunch on a sunny terrace, and I confirmed another truth: I will never, ever willingly eat tripe. NO. no. NO. Just the smell of G’s lunch, a glistening black Andouille sausage stuffed with animal innards, made my little nose wings flair aggressively.

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We joined les amies at a 17th century house in La Roche En Brenil, a tiny bourguignon town with just one boulangerie, which also serves as the bar and gathering spot for a very friendly group of red-cheeked, wine guzzling locals. We spent the afternoon doing some of my favorite activities: grazing on charcuterie (rillette!), drinking wine, listening to music and warming ourselves in the sun. And that’s basically all we did until it was time to eat dinner — a gorgeous roast beef, with crispy, fried potatoes and homemade tarragon mayonnaise.

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The next morning, G and I walked to the boulangerie and bought basically one of everything that looked good. We had planned to leave that day, and despite my initial protests, decided to stay one more night.

When you find yourself in Bourgogne on a glorious day and declining your host’s earnest attempt to get you to stay an extra night, you have to ask yourself — is it time to let your New York guard down?

The answer is, unsurprisingly, yes. Even if you initially resisted, because you have to get back to Paris to get stuff done, you can change your mind. Just say yes.

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a beast of a côte de bœuf from our second night in Bourgogne

That’s kind of my resolution this year — say yes. If you say no, you miss out. If you say yes, you might take on an extra project or join a dinner you weren’t really feeling at first. But chances are you won’t regret it. You might even have fun. You might even eat a sexy ass côte de bœuf cooked to perfection via sous vide. We spent the second day at a wine, cheese and bread fair in the town of Époisses (home to one the truly stinkier cheeses of the same name). I bet you can guess whether I regret it or not. Mais non! 

Happy to be checking in with you guys again. Now please leave me all of your Paris and France recommendations in the comments. Bisousssss.

 

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4 thoughts on “Where the Cheese Is as Stinky as the Wine Is Great — Bourgogne

  1. What a wonderful adventure, Caitilin! Growing up in Spain, I spent many summers in Bourgogne, in the city of Beaune, living with family friends to learn French. Every meal ended with a platter of stinky cheese being passed around the table. They were the best! Have a wonderful time in France.

    Natacha

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