Do you know the way to Beaujolais?
Beaujolais is a great greeter wine– a wine to greet guest with to rev up there palate and say HI!. Much like Sauvignon blanc can be a greeter wine, beaujolais has acidity and brightness, it awakens the palate and prepares you for what’s to come. Pair this wine as a greeter wine with pate and a triple cream brie and your guest will love you!
So do you know the way to Beaujolais?
Beaujolais is located in France to the east and north of Bordeaux, just north of Lyon and just south of Beaune as you can see in the map. If you follow this link you’ll find the map below which will connect you with more regional information:
Now that you’re oriented, here’s a more specific map:
Recently, Sue prepared an AMAZING midweek meal which we paired with a Beaujolais Villages wine which was light and yet feisty like a bantam weight boxer, and then we compared and contrasted two from Morgon which is right in the heart of Beaujolais, one which is a crus. (At a future date, we have two more to sample and pair from two other areas!) There is so much to learn and discover about this region we are very excited to do not one, not two, but three posts!
- Simple cheese plate:
triple cream brie and pate with salt cured olives and a baguette
- Salad greens dressed with a lemon honey vinaigrette and
topped with dried cherries, pomegranate, goat cheese and candied walnuts
- Roasted brussel sprouts with bacon
- Mashed rose potatoes
- Coq au vin (recipe Sue adapted)
When Sue researched food pairings with Beaujolais, coq a vin came up numerous times. Sue had never made it before, and we had talked about doing it before especially since Marshall LOVES chicken and we want to try it in the instant pot.
We thought this would be a great dish for a holiday table or gathering of friends– it’s special but not too hard to make. In fact, Sue was surprised at how easy it was to prepare and as it spends time in the oven roasting, there’s time to socialize — or in our case, take notes on the wines!
- 2016 – Beaujolais Villages – Natural – 12.5% alcohol
- 2016 – Morgon – Vignobless Des Roches – 13% alcohol
- 2015 – Morgon – Cru du Beaujolais – Cote du Py – 13.5% alcohol
- all three wines were provided as samples for my review consideration — thank you!!
2016 – Beaujolais Villages – Natural – 12.5% alcohol
According to a press kit, this wine is “produced around the villages of Odenas, St Etienne des Outliers and Charente. A selection of older vines (50 to 60 years) producing wines with more character. Strict selection in the vineyard and of course hand picked grapes. For Natural – we reduce the treatments to their minimum (softer filtration, less sulfites). We want you to taste the wine as we do when we make our blends and take the wines from the vats. It has to remain as Natural as possible.”
And they definitely succeeded! It smells, tastes, and gives off the feeling of fresh pressed juice but it is not a nouveau, however, minimal sulfites means it may not be as stable if laying down for a long time. The expectation is you will drink this wine soon after purchasing it! In fact, this would be a great wine to buy when you’re at the grocery store buy a rotisserie chicken.
Color: pretty, translucent, like a rose (the actual flower!)
Nose: fresh fruity – cranberry, pomegranate, valencia oranges, cotton candy, a carnival of flavor
Palate: very tart and acidic, like a sweet tart candy, the fruit comes through, cranberries, pomegranate, lively, bright and light; this wine is not a heavy heady wine, but light in body.
This wine is the life of the party– so lively!
John felt this was like grape juice, you don’t usually get grabbiness from grapes, but you do on this one. Candied apples on the finish. Especially delicious with our salad full of fresh greens and fruits, as well as the rest of the meal.
This wine is fun right off the bat but it has enough character to go with our meal.
2016 – Morgon – Vignobless Des Roches – 13% alcohol
Color: Ruby but still translucent
Nose: Red fruit, strawberry, subtle nose, not super aromatic; John felt it smelled like alcohol, petrol, and acetone.
Palate: More tannins and oak than the Natural. More minerals come through on this wine. A bit more complexity than the Natural. Both our brie and pate tame the minerals and bring out the fruit. Not much wood or herbal qualities in this wine.
This wine also went so nicely with our meal. From the salad — great flavor combination with the dried cherries in the salad– to the brussel sprouts with bacon. Sue found it to go best with the chicken. This wine by far was the best with our meal tonight. Hands down, it went best with everything on our plate from the cheese plate, to the salad, to the main meal; throughout the dinner, it worked.
This was Sue’s favorite of the evening just slightly in front of the Natural. It went best with our meal, from the salad to the brussel sprouts, to the coq au vin.
This wine is readily available at Whole Foods for around $20.
2015 – Morgon – Cru du Beaujolais – Cote du Py – 13.5% alcohol
Color: Pretty garnet – rich – but still translucent and pretty.
Nose: Nice fruity nose, but I also got mushroom, and a lot of funk on the nose of this wine. When brought to Sue’s attention, she could pick up on that too, but wasn’t the first thing that jumped out: she was struck more by the oak, and we both enjoyed the baking spices. John said it had that “Funky Pinot Nose” and made us think that this would be a good wine for someone who usually goes for Pinot noir.
Palate: Rich in tannins. Sue did not like this wine as much with our super ripe triple cream brie as much as the other two. But this wine did like the pate nicely. With the salt cured olives, it tames the tannins and minerals and brings out the fruit in the wine.
Earthy rich, decadent.
The funk on this wine dissipates with the meal and the fruit shines through.
Sue also loved this wine with the salad: the pomegranate and dried cherries went particularly well.
The bacon throughout the meal takes these wines by the horn and tames them, marries them, creates beautiful balance.
I felt this was the most interesting wine, the most intriguing wine of the evening– it’s the one you want to savor and have last to contemplate into the night.
So who else knows the way to Beaujolais? Check out these posts — and join us tomorrow, Saturday at 8am Pacific time for our twitter chat on the topic!
- Jill from L’Occasion shares “No Sleep ’til Beaujolais: The French Wine That’s Keeping Us Up All Night“
- Martin from Enofylz writes “Ready To Elevate Your Beaujolais Game? Go Beyond Nouveau!”
- Lynn from Savor the Harvest writes “Beaujolais Beyond Nouveau”
- Rob from Odd Bacchus shares “Beaujolais Reassessed“
- Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm writes “Say Yay for Beaujolais“
- Jane from Always Ravenous shares “Beaujolais Wine: A Foodie’s Dream”
- Nicole from Somms Table writes “Cooking to the Wine: Stephane Aviron Cru Beaujolais with Pork Tenderloin While Jumping Life Hurdles“
- Lauren from The Swirling Dervish shares “Thanksgiving for Two: Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Loin Paired with Beaujolais Cru”
- Jeff from Food Wine Click! shares “Tasting the Beaujolais Pyramid over Dinner”
- Gwendolyn from Wine Predator asks “Do you know the way to Beaujolais?”
- Liz from What’s in that Bottle invites us to “Discover Real Beaujolais”
- Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla tells us about her “Top of the Central Coast; My Beaujolais Pairing Dinner”
- Michelle from Rockin Red Blog writes “Exploring Cru Beaujolais with #Winophiles“.
- David from Cooking Chat shares “Food-Friendly Red Wine from Beaujolais”.
And you knew I had to leave you with the actual song that is now an ear worm!