Tour de France without bikes but with wine: Les Hospices de Beaune

We obviously had to eat during our, but this wasn’t easy as thought… not because there were not enough restaurants, but because the famous Hospices de Beaune were about to take place the next days (so lots of people from all over the world already traveled to Beaune). The Hospices de Beaune aka Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune is first of all know for formerly being a charitable almshouse in Beaune founded in 1443 by chancellor of Burgundy Nicolas Rolin, as a hospital for the poor. The Hôtel-Dieu, one very beautiful building to say the least. Nowadays they service their patients are in new/modern hospital buildings.

Hôtel Dieu (2) Hôtel Dieu

The second reason they are very well know (mostly amongst winelovers) is because of their yearly charity wine auction held in November (so the period I was in Beaune :-)) already since 1851 (on the 3rd Sunday of November to be more precise) . Domaine des Hospices de Beaune is a non-profit organization that owns around 61 hectares (150 acres) of donated vineyard land by patients (with most appellations being Grand and Premier cru). So as they are a non-profit organization they decided to yearly keep auctions where the bidding happens mostly by professionals, but surprisingly also by a lot of private buyer and they can bid on 31 cuvées of red wine and 13 of white wine. I have no clue for which prices these barrels are sold, but I’m sure some nice investments can be done by the cause. The Hospices de Beaune is also the moment all winemakers in Beaune open their doors to the public and they whole town celebrates with food and wine 🙂 Also it is up to the buyer to age, cure and elaborate the wine further…

Auction

Hospices de Beaune

This year's hosts Michel Drucker et l'ex-mannequin Adriana Karembeu

Hospices de Beaune wine

Hospices de Beaune wine Bouchard

So moral of my story is that most restaurants were fully booked and I just had to look harder to find one 🙂 But instead of looking I just asked local people as to my opinion this is still the best way to discover good new places! One of the restaurants we were suggested and liked during our stay in Beaune was the Ermitage de Corton located a few minutes outside the city center of Beaune (direction Nuits St. Georges). The spot if you are looking for good refined food to be enjoyed in a relax atmosphere and put your thoughts on hold for a few hours. That is how I would describe the Ermitage de Corton…

Ermitage de Corton

As we were in Bourgogne it didn’t seem a bad idea to take the menu Bourguignon… I started with a Poached egg a in a red wine sauce with onion and bacon. Carlos being a snail lover started with the Chinese cabbage stuffed with snails, butternut and chestnut mousse.  Mine tasted as I wanted it to taste, which is basically comfort food where you can taste the butter and rich ingredients 🙂

Chinese cabbage stuffed with snails, butternut and chestnut mousse Poached egg a in a red wine sauce with onion and bacon

As we already had been tasting the whole day it wasn’t easy to decided which wine we wanted, but as I know Carlos is a big white wine fan we chose a nice bottle  2011 Saint-Romain, “Sous Le Château” by Christophe Buisson. Why I chose this wine? Well first of all I wanted to try a local wine that I hadn’t tried yet that was affordable 🙂 . I can also say for a fact it was a very nice bottle of wine, very floral with a little richer taste that everybody would like. Perfect for an evening amongst friends.

Saint-Romain Sous Le Château 2011

We continued our meal with for me Steamed fillet of plaice with quinces, lemons and walnuts, Crémant Sauce and polenta crisps. Although I must admit Carlos’ choice did make me doubt as he had the Beef cheeks cooked in a red wine sauce during 7 hours… (I did get to taste some 😉 )

Beef cheeks cooked in a red wine sauce during 7 hours Steamed fillet of plaice with quinces, lemons and walnuts, Crémant Sauce and polenta crisps

We finished our meal with French toast of gingerbread, pears poached in red wine… more comfort food I’d say. A lovely meal in great company!

French toast of gingerbread, pears poached in red wine

A few other places you have to try when you have the chance when visiting Beaune:

Up to Damery …

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