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"It truly was a memorable experience and definiteley on of the highlights of our trip. Todd still talks about the wine you brought out at the first vineyard that morning (he thought it was the best of the day!) You're very knowledgeable both in the wine and the countryside and have contacts which all makes for a great excursion.I'll let you know when we're planning another trip to France!"

Jan Ross, Florida, USA


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Wine Region Recipes


As selection of great classics to compliment your wine tasting, plus if Brendan can make them - they must be easy!

GougèresGougères (Burgundian cheese puffs)   

The best thing to nibble on while tasting wine is without doubt the Gougéres. A delicious Burgundian invention which is basically a sort of cheese puff.
They are not too difficult to make, even I can even do it.
The following Gougere recipe is from our friend Anne Willan’s sumptuous cook book A Kitchen in Burgundy.


¾ cup/100g flour
¾ cup/175 ml water
1/3 cup/75g butter
½ teaspoon salt
4 eggs
¾ cup/75 g coarsely grated Gruyère cheese
1 egg beaten to mix with ½ teaspoon of salt (for glaze)

piping bag and ½ inch/1.25cm plain tube.

Heat the oven to 375°F/190°C and butter a baking sheet. For the choux pastry, sift the flour onto a piece of paper. In a small saucepan, heat the water, butter, and the salt until the butter is melted, then bring everything to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, add the flour all at once, and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan to form a ball. Beat the mixture over low heat for 30 to 60 seconds more to dry it.

Whisk one of the eggs in a bowl until mixed and set it aside. With a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, beat the remaining eggs into the dough one by one, beating thoroughly after each addition. Beat enough of the fourth reserved egg into the dough so it is shiny and just falls from the spoon; you may not need all of the reserved egg. Beat in the grated Gruyère cheese. Put the dough into the pastry bag and pipe 12 mounds about 2 inches/5cm in diameter on the baking sheet. Brush the puffs with the egg glaze.

Bake the Gougères until puffed and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Take one puff from the baking sheet and let it cool for a minute. If it remains crisp on the outside, it is done. If not replace it and continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes. When done, let the puffs cool slightly, then remove them from the baking sheet. Serve them warm they should be slightly warm in the centre.

Anne Willan is founder of the internationally renowned La Varenne cooking academy. They are based at the beautiful Chateau du Fey, not far from us in Joigny. To find out more about La Varenne courses www.lavarenne.com Or if you fancy renting the Chateau du Fey visit www.chateaudufey.com

Cake au lardons et olivesGougeres are a great favourite but as an alternative wine tasting or apperitif snack try the delicious Cake Salé.
There are many permutations and you can add numerous savoury bits to the basic mix. I’ve chosen the one with bits of bacon (lardons) and olives. If I can do it ,it must be easy. The photo is what mine looks like normally, not very photogenic.


150 gms chopped stoneless green olives.
150 gms rindless lardons
200 gms self raising flour
150 gms gratted cheese
3 eggs,
½ mug of vegetable oil
½ mug of white wine
small pot of plain yoghurt
Salt and pepper

Mix the eggs and the oil together in a large bowl followed by the other ingredients , lastly the flour. When everything is well mixed pour into a loaf tin and put into a preheated oven at 180°C for about 50 minutes. About 10 minutes before the end you can sprinlke some grated cheese over the surface.

When it looks nice and golden take out of the oven and use a knife to check it’s cooked through. Gently extract from tine and leave to cool.
To serve cut using a sharp serrated knife into 1cm thick slices, probably easiest to  eat if these are cut in half.

Goes great with both red and white wines.

Wine Liaisons TartifletteTartiflette

This great french country classic is delicious on a cold winters night, especially if you are feeding folk with hearty appetites.  You’ll need a decent cheese, the best known for this dish is Reblochon but there are alternatives.  I enjoy this dish regularly not just because of it’s taste but because its an easy one to prepare.


1.2 Kilos of potatos
200 gms of lardons
2 onions
1 Reblochon cheese.

Serves 4 to 6 depending on helpings.
Can be accompanied by light reds or crisp white wines.

Par boil the unpeeled potatoes then drain and leave to cool.
Chop the onions and add to lardons in frying pan to brown lighly using minimum oil.
Peel and slice the potatoes placing a layer on the bottom of a baking dish. Scatter lardon and onions then cover with another layer till you finish with an upper layer of sliced potatoes.
Now slice your Reblochon laterally through the middle to produce 2 wheels. Place them interior down, side by side on top of the potatoes.
Put into a preheated oven at between 180-200°C for about 40 minutes.
It should smell lovely too.

Bon appetit !

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We have been with many, many outstanding wine makers, vineyard owners, wine evaluators, and wine writers/educators, but your wine knowledge, history of wine in Burgundy and relationships with important producers is the best I've been involved with ANYWHERE. “

Hal Holtz, Athens. GA