I have a mission. Few weeks ago, I was told by a friend, “I don’t get Beaujolais” My mission therefore is to demystify Beaujolais. It is an easy mission actually, and we will also talk about Beaujolais Cru. Lets start by going to Paris.

Take any bistro in Paris (or Lyon). If you ask for the house red wine, you won’t go wrong. No matter what you ordered for the meal, the wine matches it perfectly. Some might say it is the fact that you happen to be in Paris that makes the experience flawless. Or you could say it is the choice of wine. The odds are good that the wine in the carafe in front of you is Gamay Noir from Beaujolais. Not too many people here in the States are familiar with Beaujolais and its a shame because it is probably one of the most food friendly wine. Some who know about it, base their experience from Beaujolais Nouveau (The New Beaujolais) that is released every year in November. Not to knock Beaujolais Nouveau, it is probably not the best wine to get acquainted with this grape/wine. To understand Beaujolais a little more lets travel east from Paris to France’s second largest city, Lyon.

If you love food, Lyon is the place to be. The confluence of food with produce from Drome, fish from Rhone and the Mediterranean (although it is a bit ways to the South) and wine from the Rhone in the South and Beaujolais in the North and Jura to the East and Champagne to the Northwest,makes Lyon ideal for someone looking for something to eat. The markets in Lyon are a feast on the eyes, ears and nose..not to mention the palate! Then there is history. Silkworkers in the past who couldn’t afford a good meal had to make do with less desirable cuts of meat and this in turn led to the birth of bouchons. 

These are family run restaurants and serve some of the best meals anywhere. If you plan on going to Lyon or anywhere there, drop me a line. I will tell you where to go!


Go a little north of Lyon and it gets a little cooler than it would get in Rhone. This is Gamay Noir country. Any wine made from Gamay Noir is referred to as Beaujolais. By the way, Gamay Noir also grows well in California. Steve Edmunds makes a great expression of it called Bone-Jolly (Bone-Jolly, Beau-jo- lais..get it?). There is some really good Chardonnay grown here as well and is referred to as Beaujolais Blanc (white Beaujolais).

Most of the pictures in this post are my own and some are as indicated ,kindly loaned to me by Charles Rambaud of InterBeaujolais. I am indebted to him for the same.

…To be continued…

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