What are the best Burgundy alternatives? Charles Lea shares his advice...

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Burgundy alternatives

S Patras, Gloucestershire asks: I have some Burgundy-loving friends coming to stay soon. I can’t afford to serve wines of any great status, so an you suggest something that will be affordable but not look cheapskate?

Charles Lea replies: You could still serve Burgundy if you look to the best producers in the least sought after areas; these wines are still not exactly cheap, but offer real value. Ask your merchant for their top domaines in Marsannay, Givry or Mercurey.

If you did want to try a ringer for red Burgundy, look to leading names from Patagonia in Argentina, Elqui in Chile or New Zealand.

Non-Pinot Noir alternatives are wines which have similar balance in terms of tannins and acidity as well as scented richness and dryness.

Nebbiolo has more tannin in absolute terms, but is an interesting alternative. A simple Langhe Nebbiolo from a good grower is often made from their younger vines on great slopes in Barbaresco or Barolo.

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