In case you didn't know, today is North Korea dictator Kim Jong-Il's birthday. It's widely believed that over the years--while he hasn't been busy oppressing, abusing and agitating--he's amassed a 10,000-bottle wine collection with a particular focus on high-end Burgundy.
However, one sadistic dictator's beverage preferences shouldn't scare you away from Burgundy. In fact, this is where you'll find plenty of tasty, affordable wines, free of pricing or flavor injustice.
In Burgundy there are several big wine companies called négociants, who buy grapes from growers throughout the region. They produce affordable regional blends--labeled Bourgogne--that are tasty and inexpensive, as well as low-volume, prestige wines that are very pricey. Even the cheapest Bourgogne wines from well-known négociants can be great bargains.
Some of the best known négociants are Louis Latour, Jean-Claude Boisset, Louis Jadot and Joseph Drouhin. A wine we tried recently is the Les Sétilles white Bourgogne 2008 from négociant Olivier Leflaive ($15). It's a light, bright, crisp white that has pleasing aromas of white peach and flowers, and a full-on rush of apricot and peach flavors with a citrusy rush of acidity. It's affordable for a college student, yet offers quality fit for a...well, you get the idea. So Les Sétilles is our Wine of the Week.
What's the most high-quality, low-price wine you've tried lately? Tell us about it below.