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How to shop for Burgundy with your new knowledge

Hopefully, with all your new knowledge, shopping for Burgundy will be less stressful!

There is no one magic formula for shopping for Burgundy, but here is a smattering of ideas for you.

Find a good Burgundy retailer

This doesn’t have to be a big store with a big selection. In fact, you may seek out the opposite: a smaller store with a curated selection. Note that most wine shops are going to be playing heavily in the lower cost wines because, let’s face it, they sell faster. So a store for dependable St. Veran and Bourgognes may not be the same as a Premier Cru or Grand Cru shop.

What you’re looking for is passion and knowledge from your wine merchant. And also a willingness to do the hunting for you. Which leads to the next point.

Ask for special orders

Thanks to the web, the supply side of importers and wholesalers is easier than ever to tap into (actually it was impossible until 2015 or so, when a new upstart called SevenFifty began to streamline this process). So if you tell a good retailer that you’re wondering what’s available from Nuits-Saint-Georges, especially from the 2015 vintage, they can hunt for you.

Of course, don’t make them do all this work without the intent to buy. If they come through with the wines you are seeking, then procure some of them.

Producer first, vintage second

My favorite producers list is long, I know, but that came about from decades of drinking Burgundy (and selling it on the wholesale and retail sides). But with that list in mind I get very excited every year when new wines become available for purchase.

I always shop for Burgundy by producer first. When it comes to excellent vintages, I’ll roll the dice and try some I don’t know well or have never heard of. But when it comes to average or below average vintages, I always stick with my list.

In lesser vintages, I seek out Bourgones and village-level wines.

In great vintages, I seek out Bourgognes and village-level wines with the occasional Premier Cru or (if the stars align just right in terms of price and cash in hand) Grand Cru.

Online resources for older and rare wines

My pal Pete Duffy at The Chicago Wine Company is one of the best in the biz. Browse their catalog and reach out to Pete with any questions.

It’s always fun to see what is happening at Christie’s Auction House

I’ve always had great customer service at Wine Consigners out of California. Their site is fun to browse. Hint: freeze your credit card in a block of ice before going on this site!