Burgundy is the motherland of pinot noir. Red Burgundies are considered some of the best wines in the world. The region sits in the eastern part of France, where the limestone soils are perfectly suited to pinot noir. The most coveted red Burgundies are from the sub-region of the Côte d'Or but there are also excellent Bourgogne Rouge wines from vineyards without village or vineyard-specific labels.
If Burgundy is the Bach of classical composition then Southwest France represents the Miles Davis of jazz improvisation. One is light and ethereal while the other is sturdy and multi-faceted. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the Pyrenees Mountains to the south, the vinous region of Southwest France has a lot to offer. Sub-regions such as Madiran, Marcillac, Jurancon and the lesser-known Irouleguy produce hardy red wines made from malbec, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and the more obscure varieties: fer servadou, negrette and tannat.