The cooler temperatures that the early fall brings are finally here to energize us. This renewed energy gives us a jump start on planning for our holiday gatherings.
With time on our side it gives us a chance to find a few new recipes and try new wines you would like to serve for your holiday celebrations.
Here is some information on light red wines from the southernmost wine region in Burgundy, France — the hilly Beaujolais region.
The main red grape grown in the Beaujolais region is gamay which is the only grape used in Beaujolais wine.
This is a wine with little to no tannins which make it an easy drinking wine especially for those who are ‘not sure I like red wine’.
There are three styles of Beaujolais wine:
- Beaujolais Nouveau is the wine that is released while it is very young and must be drunk within three to six months of its release. This is labeled as Beaujolais Nouveau.
- Beaujolais Villages has its own AOC designation. Two very popular Beaujolais Village area wines are from the Mâcon Village or Saint-Véranis. These wines usually have Beaujolais-Villages printed somewhere on the label.
- The AOC designation also covers an area where 10 small vineyards produce a higher quality Beaujolais wine known as Cru which are considered some of the best wines produced from the Beaujolais region. The Cru wines are made in three styles (light body, medium body, and the fuller body wines which can be aged for a few years.
The Cru styles are labeled with the name of the Village where the grapes were grown and harvested and may have the word ‘Cru‘ on the label as well.
- Brouilly, Régnié, and Chiroubles are the three lighter style Crus.
- Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, and Saint-Amour are medium bodied style Crus that can be saved to within 4 years after harvest.
- Chénas, Juliénas, Morgon, and Moulin-à-Vent are full-bodied Crus and can be saved from four to ten years after their harvest.
Check your local wine shop and ask which Beaujolais varieties they carry. If you don’t know which to try just let the salesperson know what style wine you prefer and he/she will be happy to recommend a Beaujolais style to compliment your tastes.