“Dear Karen, A few years ago while traveling in Burgundy, France, I noticed that some producers served their white wines last, after their reds. Is this a common practice in Burgundy, and if so, is there a reason for it?” —Richard A. (Toronto, Canada)
Hi Richard: Yes, serving red wines before whites is common in Burgundy, especially among top producers. The rationale behind the practice is that Pinot Noir in Burgundy is often subtle, delicate and complex. By contrast, Burgundian whites (Chardonnay)—especially Grands Crus and Premiers Crus from the villages of Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, and Meursault—are often fairly powerful wines, with lots of acidity and lush creaminess. By virtue of their weight and impact, these whites are usually served after the reds.