Someone asked the other day what type of wine do I feel deserves more attention than it is getting. There are actually many, but for this unusually warm Summer, I answered Beaujolais.
Historically Beaujolais is a much maligned wine, one a friend once categorized as an “Ugly Duckling”.
At least part of the issue is sadly “fruity” wines are not in fashion.
I have often wondered why? Fruity after all can be cooling, refreshing, uplifting and delicious. Apples, pineapples, papaya & tomatoes, for example, are fruity and a lot of people enjoy each on a regular basis. Imagine on a hot day biting into a cold apple or pineapple. How refreshing would that be? Then why not a fruity wine?
To me, fresh, exuberantly fruity, remarkably light & delicious Beaujolais is one of the world’s quintessential warm weather sipping wines, especially if it is served slightly chilled.
Furthermore, the really good ones are also amazingly food friendly and with a wide array of foods.
A really good example is the Thanksgiving turkey. How many people enjoy their turkey with cranberry? I certainly do. Creating this combination was a stroke of genius. Next time try a Beaujolais with your turkey. This is also a really good combination for similar reasons.
There really is a food type, time, mood, or occasion to enjoy a Gamay Noir (the grape variety used to produce French Beaujolais), just as there is an opportunity to enjoy a Cabernet, Chardonnay or a Pinot Noir.
Why compare, why not appreciate their differences, just as at home, I appreciate my son for who he is and my daughter for who she is. Each of these grape varieties have VERY different characteristics and should just be enjoyed accordingly.
We really should assess a Beaujolais, a Napa Valley Cabernet and an Australian Chardonnay using different criteria.
For example I evaluate Beaujolais based upon its delicious-ness, food friendliness and gulp-ability. These are the attributes of Beaujolais I adore. Based upon this criteria there are at least ten 100 point Beaujolais currently available in HawaiiI I could readily recommend to you!
Last night for example, we tasted the newly arrived 2008 Celebration Beaujolais Villages from the Evening Land wine group. This wine is remarkably light, delicious and wonderfully refreshing. Produced from old vines, under the watchful eyes of French star winemakers Christophe Vial & Dominique Lafon, this is the very style of wine regional vignerons serve at their dinner table.
A similarly naturally made, stellar Beaujolais worth checking out is from Domaine Dupeuble. Produced from 50 year old vines, organically farmed and bottled unfiltered and unfined, this is a Domaine whose Beaujolais we wait for every year. You will be amazed at how delicious AND how food friendly this wine really is.