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Your Burgundy and Champagne Reference Guide

In the internet age, there are countless sites and blogs offering all sorts of wine information, from the sublime to the ridiculous. As with just about anything else, the top 5-10% of what's out there is really good, and the rest of it much less so. I thought it was time to turn you on to the stuff I read, the writers I trust, and the sites I find truly helpful.


BurgHound - The world's leading reference on the wines of Burgundy remains - a subscription-only quarterly launched by L.A.-based Allen Meadows back in 2000. Allen spends 4+ months per year tasting in Burgundy, keeping a schedule that would bring most people to their knees. No other writer or publication on the planet covers Burgundy in such depth and detail. Thousands of wines and hundreds of producers are regularly reviewed, not just the top 30-40 domaines that most other critics cover. Allen's is truly the only voice that matters when it comes to Burgundy. His knowledge of the wines, the people and the region is encyclopedic. Many Burgundians freely admit that Allen knows Burgundy better than they do. If you're remotely serious about Burgundy, you read Burghound. End of discussion.

Burgundy Report - Switzerland-based Bill Nanson does excellent reports on a number of domaines, has great photos and producer profiles, good historical info and tasting notes on Burgundy-Report. com - it's a wealth of excellent information.

WineHog - Despite the rather odd name, is an amazing site that is dedicated to giving you all the in-depth Burgundy-geek info one could ever dream of. Steen Ohman is Danish, writes in English, and is clearly obsessed with all of the minutiae that makes Burgundy endlessly fascinating. He visits domaines and reviews wines, but the strength of this site is the historical information and the amazing collection of maps that show who owns what rows in all of the important vineyards. If you want to know who owns the parcel of Richebourg that adjoins the Domaine Leroy rows, how big that parcel is, when it came into their possession, and who the previous owners were going back to the 1700s - this is your site. I geek out here on a regular basis.

All About Burgundy - A new site launched this year by Burgundian Laurent Gotti, who lives in Burgundy and for many years wrote for the excellent magazine Bourgogne Aujourd'hui. This site is in French, but if you speak the language (or at least read French reasonably well), it's an excellent site filled with news and interesting writing from one of Burgundy's top insiders.

Inside Burgundy by Jasper Morris. A book, rather than a website, but a great one. This is the definitive overall reference work on Burgundy, and it blows away anything that came before it. Do not waste your time with any other book on Burgundy. The rest are hopefully out of date, and generally contain more errors than anyone should tolerate. This one is the real deal. I use it nearly every day and thank Jasper for the exhaustive work he put in to make it great. Jasper is a Brit who lives in Burgundy, and has been the UK's leading Burgundy importer for more than 30 years. It's pricey and a bit hard to find, but worth it. It is usually available on Amazon.

Atlas Vins - Of all the (mostly useless) wine apps out there, this one is heaven for Burgundy lovers. Atlas Vins puts detailed maps of every Burgundy vineyard on your iPhone or iPad, village by village. These are the exact same maps you see on the walls of tasting rooms everywhere. It's available on the iTunes store. No Burg geek should be without it.


Champagne Guide - For Champagne, there is only one serious English-language game in town, Peter Liem's superb It is essentially the Burghound, Burgundy Report and WineHog of Champagne, all rolled into one neat package. it's subscription-only, and well worth the price of admission. Producer profiles, wine reviews (though not on a regular basis), insider information, historical info, vintage info, and a blog full of great photos and current updates from the region. Indispensable for anyone with more than a passing interest in Champagne.