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.
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…