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All About Beaujolais:

More than Beaujolais Nouveau

All about Beaujolais: from Beaujolais Nouveau to Beaujolais Villages and Cru Beaujolais

For many people, Beaujolais means only Beaujolais Nouveau - the one-night stand of the wine world. It's the first wine in any vintage to be available for sale - just weeks after harvest - and is consumed only within the first few weeks of release, enjoyed for its candy-like, fizzy, simple character. And while the region's non-Nouveau wines don't have the storied longevity or complexity of its neighbors in other parts of Burgundy, Beaujolais is still a wonderful wine that deserves more than our fleeting affection.

About Beaujolais Nouveau

The new vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau is released each year on the third Thursday in November with much funfare, and with timing perfect for serving at Thanksgiving (the wine is an excellent accompaniment for turkey and fixings). Made from the Gamay grape, with very delicate skins, 'Nouveau' is specifically crafted to be drunk young, with approachable, light sometimes sweet qualities.

About Beaujolais, Beaujolais Villages and Cru Beaujolais

Outside of 'Nouveau', there are three grades of Beaujolais based on the provenance of the vineyards - Beaujolais is the most generic and can be produced from any vineyards within the appellation; Beaujolais Villages must be grown in pre-designated, better quality villages; and Cru Beaujolais is the highest tier, with all the grapes hailing from just one of these prestigious villages. As you move up in tiers, the wines become fuller and more complex, and accordingly somewhat more expensive.

Beaujolais Wine Characteristics

Body: light to medium
Tannins: light
Acidity: medium to high
Flavors: red fruit, particulary cherry and a distinctive, pleasant sour cherry note

Other Beaujolais Wine Fast Facts

- Bottled by varietal name (Gamay) outside of France, although not commonly grown in other countries
- Bottled by regional name in France: Beaujolais
- Villages of Beaujolais: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Régnié, Saint-Amour
- Famous Producers: Georges duBoeuf, Boisset, Louis Latour
- Very limited aging potential, best consumed within 1-3 years

Beaujolais Wine & Food Pairing

- Delicious paired with mild cheeses and light, tomato-based sauces; also chicken, squab, cornish hen, pork
- Easy Food and Wine pairings with Beaujolais:
     Grilled BBQ Pork Ribs with Spicy Jalapeno-Peanut Marinade

Here are some of our favorites:

2005 Domaine Pascal Granger Juliénas, Beaujolais
This Cru Beaujolais shows the varietal's classic sour cherry flavor with a lively tartness. ($16)

2008 Louis Latour Beaujolais-Villages, "Chameroy"
More ripe and suave than the Juliénas, this is sure to please almost any palate. ($10)

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