burgundy: ice cream with the negociant.

on monday we awoke with vigor, cracking the domaine fresh eggs into a hot pan, staring in disbelief at the dark orange color of the yolk, the free range, hormone free, european goodness transparent. the smell of fresh baguettes permeated the 2-foot thick walls. the day was ours!


we left the exposed, pier-beamed ceilings of our Burgundian fortress to brace the bright sun and infinite blue skies that had become our new normal. after all, carousels and cobblestone streets await.


daintily we sprinkled our texan flair around town, eventually stopping to admire the hospices du beaune.


a middle-aged relic in her own right, the hospices chanted softly into the back of our ears, reminding us of the holy ground on which we walked. we listened intently to the historical characterization of each room, and earnestly sought out every detail in the canvases which adorned the walls.


sommkid declared she wanted to travel back in time, assist the nuns, and take care of the sick of the day. the sommelier smiled.


after our history lesson, we walked the cobblestone streets down the passage ste helene, and into the courtyard across from the infamous ma cuisine.


aromas of roasted chicken twined in rosemary, sautéed mushrooms, and fried potatoes filled the air. we feasted on pickles and capers and homemade wild game terrine.


we sipped on champagne and chablis, laughing and telling stories of winemakers and road trips. it was easy to feel apart of it all the basement of Le Serbet, the air so welcoming and friendly.


sommkid grew restless as the hours wore on, so we gave kisses and hugs to the girls in the office and made our way out to the country to meet with the grand matriarch of negotiants, a pioneer in the field of wine.


after chasing kitty cats and pining after goats, horses, and cows, sommkid had her fill of healthy chocolate ice cream, and seconds… and thirds. and with her very full belly, she listened to the love story of two wine lovers entangled between England and France, the conversion of old barns, and the vintner parties that ensued there.


it was the end of the day, and we became tired and weary. the sommelier led us to maison columbiere for charcuterie and trios eoufs, our fill of cremant and a glass of villages du Bourgogne. our bellies burst with flavor as we struggled to stay awake. we would sleep well tonight.


and tomorrow, Bordeaux.

in gratitude, love, and naivety: The Wasserman Anniversaries

There are many things I thought I knew about wine… and then I traveled to Burgundy with the sommelier. I’ve always known that I lacked a certain knowledge surrounding soils, vines, and wine production, but never quite knew the extent to which that lack would take me.


The French countryside is quaint, quiet in it’s camaraderie and community. The winegrowers go back generations, and those even as young as 24 are now being touted as the new face of the region. Thirty five years ago, Becky Wasserman, a working mother, realized the potential of these farmers, and negotiated their import into the US and other countries. She was not only a pioneering woman in Burgundy, but a trailblazer in business throughout the world.


This past weekend, I was lucky enough to be invited in a once-of-a-lifetime event, the celebration of The Wassermans, their company Le Serbet, and the winegrowers they have represented throughout the years. A traditional Burgundian celebration, we gathered at a country chateau, and were catered to as a sign of thanks.


After drinking Champagnes on the veranda, left to mingle with Burgundian celebrities, of which I admit I knew nothing about… we headed into a white tent with tables set like royalty. The menu consisted of en croutes, foie gras salad, melon and farm fresh peas; jambon, bress chicken, and various fromage and sweets enveloped the meal.



The table wine was magnificent, and that was just the beginning.


Winemakers began touring the tables, pouring their hard work for all of the region’s finest. I knew this was a magnificent event when the sommelier’s eyes popped open, and his jaw dropped wide. This was no normal day.


While I can’t tell you how impressive the list of winemakers were at this monumentous event, I can give you a sense of the community in which these farmers operate. Tradition trumps nouveau. The earth is the mother of all the things. Soils, water, and air being about the list amazing smells and tastes you could ever imagine. And they support each other. And love their trade. This is wine at its finest.


(Pictured: Becky Wasserman & Co. Represented Winegrowers)

I can never imagine experiencing something like this again, and am grateful to the sommelier and The Wassermans for including me in this invite-only celebration. I am now more aware than ever that there is so much more to learn and respect in the traditions and trade.




This post is linked to Kristin Oliphant’s Not So Small Stories.