What’s in My Glass? Beaujoulais

Alternate titles for this post:  “How to Make Take-Out Falafel Fit for a Queen;” “A Wine That’s Not Too Strong for a Hungover Saturday;” and “Don’t be Afraid of Stinky Wine.”

All were inspired by the night I had at work this Saturday while being hungover with a plate of take-out falafel and a bottle of supremely stinky wine from France’s Beaujoulais region.

Thanks to the popularity and marketing finesse of Georges du Boeuf, many humans thinkBeaujoulais is synonymous with Beaujoulais Nouveau aka the super-light, all-fruit party wine released en masse the third Thursday of November.  But alas, the region also produces some thoroughly nuanced (and much fancier) wines from the Gamay grape that are downright delicious despite the aforementioned stinkiness.

Generally 100% Gamay, Beaujoulais wines can be really special for a multitude of reasons. First off, they’re made using a technique called “Carbonic Maceration,” which is the scientific way of saying these guys dump all the grapes in a pile, and let them crush themselves. This gives the wines a unique texture and extracts extra color from an otherwise light grape. Beaujoulais can be made in a ton of styles—anything from super-strawberry and clean-fruited to funky and earthy with hints of violets.  Plus, their light body and generally high acid makes these reds GREAT and VERSATILEwhen it comes to food pairing and can literally work with anything from said take out to aThanksgiving feast.

The P.U.R. Côte de Py (Coat-duh-PEE) that so drastically improved my Saturday was one of these wines.  This juice was a bright purple color, and blended happy, blueberry muffin aromas with a solid dose of barnyard funk and manure. Not totally appetizing, but totally cool–especially since the palate was dominated by blueberry and raspberry fruit with hints of non-manure earth and a gentle, smooth finish.

Moral of the story: When it comes to Beaujoulais, no matter your state or the quality of your tak-out, skip the Nouveau and get in the game.


  • November 19, 2013
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