Beaujolais is a wine-producing region where one grape steals the show: Gamay. This grape has a thin skin, but don’t let that fool you. It’s capable of producing a wide array of wine styles, from the fresh and fruity, to the concentrated and complex.
Yes Way Gamay: The Many Ways of Beaujolais
by Matthew Lorman
Beaujolais is a wine-producing region where one grape steals the show: Gamay. This grape has a thin skin, but don’t let that fool you. It’s capable of producing a wide array of wine styles, from the fresh and fruity, to the concentrated and complex. Gamay pairs wonderfully with a wide range of food options thanks to its high natural acidity. Check out these food and wine pairings to make the most out of Beaujolais.
The New Kid On The Block
Bring on the party with Beaujolais Nouveau. This style of wine is fresh, showing notes of juicy blueberry and raspberry, with whiffs of bubble gum, banana, and freshly cut violets. It is best served with a slight chill, and is meant to celebrate! It is traditionally released to the public on the third Thursday of November after the harvest and is a very popular wine holiday in France and around the world. If you aren’t just having a glass to toast the new year of wine, consider pairing it with some fun food options like a simple cheese board, hot dogs, or if you don’t feel like cooking, Chinese takeout. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Pop open a bottle of Beaujolais and enjoy some of life’s simplest pleasures.
Simplicity is Key
Wines that carry just “Beaujolais” on the label are likely going to be simple and basic, however, this is exactly what this style of Beaujolais should be. These wines are fun, fruit, and have an intriguing candied fruit note, mostly due to a process called carbonic maceration. In this process, aromas of raspberry, maraschino cherry, and violet are prominent. Although slightly more complex than Beaujolais Nouveau, these wines are best enjoyed with exciting foods like chicken tagine, crostini with black olive tapenade, or soy-glazed salmon.
It Takes A Village
There are 38 villages in Beaujolais that have earned the right to label their wines as Beaujolais Villages. These wines are usually a blend of grapes grown in the different villages and produce a more structured wine with riper fruit notes and more depth. These wines can withstand a little bit heavier dishes like mushroom quiche, chicken Milanese, and seafood paella. Beaujolais Village is very versatile and can be paired with a range of dishes, making it the perfect wine to serve at Thanksgiving!
Hanging With The Cru
This is Beaujolais all grown-up! Located in the foothills of the Beaujolais Mountains are the 10 Crus of Beaujolais. These wines tend to be more full-bodied, age-worthy, and deeper in color than their fresher counterparts. Each Cru has its own unique flavor profiles thanks to various soil conditions. The 10 Crus of Beaujolais are as follows, listed from north to south: Saint-Amour, Julienas, Chenas, Moulin-a-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Regnie, Brouilly, and Cote de Brouilly. Keep an eye out for these names printed on the label and snatch one up when you come across it. Pop off the cork, and enjoy these wines with duck rillette, herb-marinated pork chops, or roasted pumpkin soup.
What is your favorite pairing with Beaujolais? Be sure to tag @DCanterwines on Instagram to show off your culinary creations. Head over to DCanter’s online shop and stock up on your favorite wines. Whether this is your first time trying Gamay, or you’re a seasoned veteran, you will be saying “yes way Gamay” after every sip.