You can drink the water in France (though not if it says "non potable" which may be on signs near fountains etc), in restaurants they call tap/faucet water "rob-in ay" and if you order it they will provide it.
I'm not going to spend time discussing the enormous range of wines available throughout Burgundy, but if we focus on the Yonne route wines (see the Burgundy map) the basic grapes and drinks are as follows.
These wines come from a wide range of areas covered well by the Burgundy wine webpages but generally in the Yonne you will find:
- Petit Chablis, dry white, fresh and lively
- Chablis, dry white, more structured than Petit Chablis (and more expensive)
- Chablis Premier Cru, dry white, with aromatic complexity, mineraly and good length, £££
- Chablis Grand Cru, dry white, intense mineral, lime, honey on the nose with rounded acidity on the palate, an authentic and original wine, ££££££
- Auxerre, Pinot Noir for the Reds and Rose and Chardonnay for the whites
- Sauvignon de St Bris (Sauvignon Blanc grown just around the village of St Bris),
- Irancy, interesting Pinot Noir reds in small parcels
- Chitry, up the hill from Irancy, Pinot Noir for the Reds and Rose and Chardonnay for the whites
- Vezelay, whites from Chardonnay.
With the exception of the well known Chablis wines, all of the above are small wine growing areas that offer you the chance to taste the secrets of Northern Burgundy. You are unlikely to ever find these wines outside of the Burgundy area, let alone abroad.
We would recommend that you drink plenty of water at lunch on your bike holiday in hot weather as you need to replenish your body’s fluids. However, that does not mean you should not add wine to the water and a jug of the local wine certainly helps the water go down.
Sometimes, on a sunny day, you just have to have a beer and in France the majority of production comes from a few large brewers. For example, Kronenbourg owns 40% of the market and, while it has tried to develop some sub brands:
- Kronenbourg 1664
- Kronenbourg Grand Cru
- Kronenbourg Blanc,
the range of flavours is not enormous. Luckily you will find a few local micro-breweries such as