I need not have been concerned. Chief Sommelier Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen proved a most able tour guide. First came three whites from Meursault, Puligny and Chassagne; then three reds from Beaune, Pommard and Volnay.
The names mean so much more once you've been to Burgundy, and even then it's confusing. The three white-wine villages south of Beaune have distinct characteristics (Meursault: round and rich; Puligny: elegance and finesse; Chassagne: structure and power) that reward the wine drinker's concentration. Beaune itself has superb premier cru vineyards, and Volnay's best are studded with aromas of mushrooms and berries. But the best wine of the afternoon was a 2002 Pommard "Les Saucilles," which offered a long-lasting bouquet of jammy fruit, tobacco and "forest floor."
The wines were paired with tidbits from the kitchen. "We're fanatical about food and wine pairing," Lindsay-Thorsen said. Seis Kamimura, RN74's new chef (since February), turns out the perfect accompaniment to the Pommard: a beef bourguignon of Painted Hills short ribs.
Next month (June 23rd): Chablis & Champagne. $45.