The mofo guide to | Gamay
Gamay, a grape that we can’t get enough of - often flying under the radar, but with plenty of personality and fresh flavour for days. Let’s get into what makes it so good.
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Why mofos like gamay
Gamay is nothing if not a juicy mofo, famed for its bright fruits that set the pace alongside a racy acidity. Generally light and spritely, they’re pretty much good to go as soon as they leave the winery, meaning you generally don’t have to worry about storing and ageing them for a time before they’ll be at their best.
Beaujolais is pretty much considered the heartland of gamay, and there are a bunch of different appellations within the region that each produce their own distinct style of wine, so you’ll be embarking on a real voyage of flavour if you’d like to dip your glass. And although gamay isn’t widely planted in Australia, you’ll find some notable examples coming out of the Adelaide Hills, Yarra Valley, King Valley and Geelong too.
What to expect with a gamay
Gamay wines are generally about being fresh and light - they're not big, bold, and heavy super-serious reds. Instead, you're looking at a wine with low tannins, bright acidity, and fresh blue and red fruit flavours. Think violets, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, and cherry - juicy and delicious.
The winemaking techniques carbonic and semi-carbonic maceration are also closely associated with fresher styles of gamay, as they extract colour without tannin, again emphasising those bright fruits (and, in the case of carbonic maceration, also giving the wines tell-tale aromas of kirsch, banana and bubble-gum).
Generally, gamay is at its best when it’s young - within a year or two of its vintage date. But… there are some higher-end gamay wines out there (especially from cru-level appellations in Beaujolais) that can benefit from a bit of ageing, delivering some more complex flavours developing as the wine matures. Check the winemaker or retailer notes to see what they advise, and if you’re likely to see a return with age.
What temperature should I serve gamay at?
Gamay is one of those rare beasts of a red that works better slightly chilled, given that bright acidity - it sacrilege to old timers who think all red should be room temperature, but slightly chilled works wonders to bring out the best of those bright fruits and floral characters. Give it an hour in the fridge before you plan to drink it, and see how it rewards you.
What foods pair with gamay?
Gamay loves the grill - it’s a perfect summer barbecue wine, pairing really well with sausages, lamb koftas, grilled chicken or fish. But a real winner? Pair it with a roast turkey and all the trimmings - it’s got those characteristic red fruits that pair excellently with a roast bird.
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When should I be drinking gamay?
Given the above, gamay is a perfect spring/summer BBQ sipper - but it's also well at home for your Christmas or Christmas in July.
Curious to give gamay a go? Or looking for our latest? No problem - see what we’ve got in stock here.