April 17, 2017
Taking Another Look as Beaujolais Wine
regardez des rouges
It’s curious how certain tastes come in and out of style. In the late 80’s and early 90’s neon fashions, electronic synth-pop and bottles of fruity Beaujolais were all the rage – only to fall off the radar.
But who would have guessed that nearly 30 years later all three would make a comeback!?! Let’s take another look at Beaujolais – a casual, easydrinking wine that’s at the height of hipness yet again. Back on the map:
• The district of Beaujolais lies between Burgundy and the Rhone Valley.
• It spans a mere 45 kilometres in length.
• 99% of her wines are created with the Gamay grape.
These grapes fall into four quality designations: Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais, Beaujolais Villages, Cru Beaujolais.
Nouveau is produced to celebrate the new harvest while the premium wines are still under production. It is released annually on the third Thursday of November. This wine is meant for immediate drinking, and has become so popular that it now represents 50% of the region’s production. After hand harvesting in September the wine undergoes an anaerobic (nonoxidative) fermentation. With little to no exposure to oxygen the wines retain an abundant aromatic quality and are characterized by a distinct candied strawberry and banana personality.
Great for... Casual lunches, picnics and gatherings. Grab a cutting board. A bagette, a few of your favourite artisan cheeses, cured meat, pate and terrine are an absolute must.
Beaujolais & Beaujolais Villages
Fruit is sourced from the greater Beaujolais area and the Villages within the district. Typically these wines will be created in a partial anaerobic environment allowing some oxygen interaction. While still expressing a classic bright red strawberry candy note, these wines feel more “dressed up” and are usually served chilled.
Great for... Quiet winter dinners. Pairs perfectly with glazed ham to create a sweet and savoury combo. Beaujolais partners nicely with a hearty ragu on a chilly evening.
The “Growths” or Crus of Beaujolais represent the best wines that Beaujolais has to offer. Fruit sourced from one of the 10 Cru vineyard areas creates a darker much longer living wine. The best stand up to some of the great Pinot Noirs of Burgundy. Higher in tannin and well layered, these are much more complex wines worthy of a little rest time in the bottle and keen attention once it is poured in your glass. Compared to Burgundy, the Crus of Beaujolais are relatively inexpensive and offer incredible value. When you uncork a bottle of Cru Beaujolais, stop and smell the roses and appreciate what the wine has to offer.
Great for... A candlelight dinner featuring rack of lamb or duck. Simply superb alongside fine pate, terrines, foie grois, artisan cured meats, sausage and a selection of your favourite cheese.