WTF is Beaujolais?
Light, chatty and accessible, Beaujolais is a great “any day of the week” wine with a noble pedigree, and an affordable alternative if you’re put off by the price point of pinot noir.
So wtf is Beaujolais?
Its name might sound like a distant French cousin of a former pommy PM, but the main variety you’ll find here is gamay - you will find some white coming out of here, but it's more renowned for it's reds. Beaujolais (the region) is south-south Burgundy and north-Northern Rhône, and is famed for its granite soils. The region makes wines that are broadly accessible, vibrantly fruit forward and largely meant to be enjoyed young, which is why it’s often overlooked by those who think all wine should be old and serious. But seriously? Lighten up, there’s heaps of fun to be had with Beaujolais.
What does Beaujolais taste like?
It depends, and that’s all part of the fun. Carbonic and semi-carbonic maceration (tl;dr allowing carbon dioxide to lend a hand in breaking down the fruit) is often used in Beaujolais, and helps produce wines that are brightly coloured but low in extracted tannins, so don’t expect to need to have to chew through a mouthful. This technique gives a heap of floral and fruity aromas, (“violet, banana foam, kirsch, blueberry” are the classic, somm-endorsed, quiet nod of approval notes) but expect bright red fruits like cherries, raspberries and strawberries to pop out at you.
“Beaujolais Villages” is a perfect intro to the region to get acquainted, before diving into the 10 “cru” classified appellations that all have their own inimitable styles; they range from light and delicately floral (see - Fleurie, the clue is in the name) to bolder, redder fruited in places like Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent and Brouilly.
Whilst some of the best cru examples can age for a couple of years, you’ll also find Beaujolais Nouveau coming out here - “new” wines released just after harvest to be as fresh and light as possible, to be consumed as soon as the bottle hits the shelf.
How should I serve Beaujolais?
Psst… come closer. This will seem like sacrilege to old timers who think all red should be room temperature, but slightly chilled works wonders to bring out the best of Beaujolais. Those floral aromas will reward you with a brief spell in the ice bucket.
What does Beaujolais pair well with?
Grilled chicken sausages or lamb koftas love a bit of Beaujolais, and it also puts a succulent sour cherry on top of chicken pâté and cold cuts at the buffet. The refreshing acidity loves a bit of fat to delicately dissect, and the vibrant blueberry and red fruits dance with grilled chicken, fish or game.
When should I drink Beaujolais?
Beaujolais loves the summer. At the beach, at the barbeque, at the park - it’s fun, funky and vibrant nature will get the party started. Perfect for knock offs.
Keen to get started? We've got some great drops here.