I sometimes write about France on this blog because as I have oft repeated, it was my first love. In fact, I was a French major in college and lived in a beautiful city called Dijon for about six months some time ago. Dijon has always remained in my heart as it was part of my early training in wine. A somewhat staid city at the time, there wasn’t all that much to keep me busy but I did drink a lot of wine for a 20 year old. Great wines in fact, the wines of Burgundy – the Cote de Beaune and the Cote de Nuits, Beaujolais, wines from the Macon, etc. I love these wines and have always been partial to French wines and to French Burgundy. I can hear you saying, who isn’t partial to Burgundy and you’d be right.
Dijon, as many people know, is the capital city of France’s Burgundy region and has a long and well respected tradition in art, culture and gastronomy. Historically the city was home to the Dukes of Burgundy (1363-1477) who were responsible for developing it into a world class city. While many Americans have traveled to France and to this beautiful city in the North East, not all have been so lucky. Those that passed through Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Station in early March did get a taste of what they are missing and undoubtedly will be considering it as an option for their next vacation. I know I am.
Dijon Must Art was a week long celebration of Dijon and involved a series of food and wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, as well as a free music concert in Grand Central Station, and a musical duel on Fifth Avenue for the opening of a nationwide tour of “The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy” currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until May 23. Dijon’s Mayor Francois Rebsamen was on hand for the opening and is actively promoting his city throughout the United States.
Burgundy in general is perhaps most well known for its fabulous red and white wines made largely from the pinot noir and chardonnay grapes and for its fabulous food. Other signature products that everyone thinks of when they hear the word Dijon, are mustard and Cassis, liqueur made from blackcurrant (think Kir, Kir Royale). All were offered to guests at public and private events.
This is a long introduction to some stories that I wrote recently for Gourmet Retailer on this lovely Dijon week organized by my friend and former WSET classmate Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco of Fraiche Pr. She did a fabulous job and I loved having the opportunity to relive some Dijon memories and create new ones.