Out of all the colors available to me, burgundy is my favorite, and finding the “best” burgundy has become something of a personal quest. I’ve always been a fan of red ink, going all the way back to grade school when your supply list included a pack of those Papermate/Flair felt-tipped correcting pens, but sometimes bright red inks are a bit harsh on the eyes when you’re staring at a full page of writing. That’s where burgundies really shine.
Burgundy ink lends your writing a touch of sophistication, and if your job involves lots of annotation and marking up documents, burgundy ink is a - how shall we put it - “gentler” way to correct the ways of others, as opposed to a sea of bright fire-engine red. The color is much more muted while still remaining interesting. I’ve always thought that burgundy looks especially good in a stub or cursive italic nib, two grinds that I favor.
So What Burgundy Inks Have I Been Writing with Lately?
A current favorite Monteverde Passion Burgundy. Many people write off Monteverde as a brand that makes pens of middling quality, but don’t overlook their inks, which are reasonably priced and come in a wide array of colors. Passion Burgundy has more red to it than other burgundies which can have purple or brownish tinges, especially those inks that try to pull off a “wine” theme. Passion Burgundy also behaves fairly well on most papers, even in wet stub nibs, and Monteverde inks in general behave quite similarly to much more expensive inks produced by a certain German brand that also makes their inks in Austria. Hmmm…..
I also recently re-reviewed Private Reserve Burgundy Mist, which was an old favorite before Private Reserve started having quality-control issues, which have since been resolved by a change in ownership and reformulations of certain colors. Burgundy Mist is a bit more “wine-y” than Passion Burgundy, meaning that you will see more purplish hues, but I’d still call it a “red.” Another relatively inexpensive choice that is closer to Passion Burgundy in color is Diamine Burgundy Royale, from the 150th Anniversary lineup.
Finally, the “classic” burgundies that periodically make their way into my rotation include Montblanc Burgundy Red and the classic Montblanc Bordeaux (now discontinued but still a great color). The standard Montblanc Burgundy works well in a finer nib but can appear a bit washed out in a stub. Montblanc Bordeaux was the perfect shade for me, and a relatively close approximation, though maybe slightly darker, is Montblanc’s Encre du Desert, one of the special edition inks released as part of its Le Petit Prince lineup. Unfortunately both the Bordeaux and Encre du Desert are not readily available.
All of the inks pictured here are “good” inks. Given that I have so many burgundies, including some that are very close approximations of each other and behave similarly, I likely will be thinning out this accumulation at some point in the future. On the whole, Monteverde and Diamine offer the best value by far, along with a steady track record of producing quality inks that won’t harm your pens.
Disclaimer: This post contains links to paid sponsors and affiliates. I can’t remember exactly how I acquired all of the ink featured here in this review, since I’ve owned much of it for years, but you can assume that I received some bottles for review purposes, free of charge, while I purchased others with my own money.