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Classics from French Wine Country

Two of Burgundy's top winemakers create a splendid meal that brings out the best in their world-class whites.

Burgundy has many talented winemakers, but few are known for their cooking. Most can assemble a jambon sandwich but don't quite get the appeal of fresh produce.

Alix de Montille and Jean-Marc Roulot are notable exceptions. Alix is a pixie-like, strong-willed woman whose family started making wine before the French Revolution. In her twenties, she rebelled: She wanted to cook, and she worked in some of France's best kitchens, including Pierre Gagnaire. But when she was pregnant, Alix decided winemaking allowed more time for a family. She now oversees her family's white-wine operations at Domaine de Montille. Her partner, Jean-Marc, is the winemaker of Domaine Guy Roulot, founded by his father. Jean-Marc's wines mimic his personality: focused, lean and, to use one of his favorite words, discreet. They also age beautifully.

The couple cooks meals together at their "moulin," a converted mill. One recent evening, Alix started dinner with a tart of bright cherry tomatoes. It paired well with young white Burgundy, which tends to be light and crisp, like green apples with lemon zest. For the entrée, Jean-Marc made his mother's veal stew with spring herbs. It's such a good match for powerful white Burgundies that it's a family staple.

As Alix and Jean-Marc's pairings show, white Burgundies are some of the most versatile wines in the world. It only takes two gifted winemaking cooks to prove it.

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Published April 2010


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