52 Weeks of Wine – Week 10: Beaujolais (December 30th 2018-January 4th 2019)

The best way I can summarize my experience of Beaujolais is to pair it with any of the foods that would be traditionally paired with mild white wines: seafood, soups, and cream sauce pastas! You’ll thank me later!

It’s the last week of the year! That feels so frightening and exciting to say, but don’t you worry, it’s not the last week of the 52 Weeks of Wine! And the New Year brings even more excitement for the 52 Weeks of Wine: the ability to subscribe to a monthly wine box delivered to your door with free shipping!

It’s become quite clear that the ability for my friends and followers to find obscure wine varietals is not an easy task. In Colorado Springs, I am fortunate to have several incredible wine shops within a 10 minute drive. However, looking back at my selection while we were stationed in North Carolina, I was pretty limited to grocery store options other than a monthly trip to a wine shop that was about 45 minutes away. So, I completely understand the dilemma.

Additionally, I am not a huge fan of wine clubs. I have found that the wines are rarely as “exclusive” as the winery depicts and the shipping costs are exorbitant. That is why when I considered selling wine shipments, I set the conditions on myself to ensure that it was worth the deal for consumers. Because I am a one-man show and this is quite a small operation, I am very flexible to tailor shipments as desired. For example, if someone only wants the red wine varietals, only the white wines, only every other week, etc., it’s too easy for me to make those adjustments – without any additional fees. I want to emphasize, even after the New Year, there is NO REQUIREMENT to purchase wines through me to participate in the 52 Weeks of Wine! If you can find the varietals in your area, I still look forward to hearing your feedback and growing my wine palate alongside you!

In an attempt to ease the burden of finding the most obscure varietals, this week I am closing out the year with a fairly common “varietal” – Beaujolais. I put varietal in quotes because this technically is not a varietal. As with Languedoc, Cotes des Rhone, Bordeaux, Champagne or any other French wine, this wine is categorized by the region in which it was produced: the Beaujolais region. However, Beaujolais has an interesting story which makes it unique from the other regions. Annually, the Beaujolais Nouveau is released the third Thursday in November. I am not familiar with any other wine that is released on a specific date. So, the Beaujolais is quite traditional in that aspect. With that timing, it only seems appropriate to enjoy the wine as the kickoff of the holiday season and through the end of the year.

Beaujolais is most frequently Gamay-based, though typically blended with other varietals. In February, we will be focusing on the Gamay varietal, so you may find it interesting to compare pure Gamay to this week’s Beaujolais experience.

For the tasting of this wine, an intense conversation of wine “pairing” evolved with my husband and I. We typically “mood pair” our wines versus “food pair” simply because our evening timeline rarely gives us the opportunity to enjoy wines over food. With two small kids, mealtime is its own adventure! However, we do discuss and dream of the types of food we may enjoy with particular wines as maybe one day in a fantasy-based future we’ll enjoy a wonderful meal that pairs well with a fabulous wine. Yeah…not holding my breath for that day! But, one of my pet peeves about wine pairings and the stereotypes with pairing wines is the declaration and assumption that certain foods only pair with white wines. Well, what if I don’t want to drink white wine with that food and I want to know what red wine pairs with that food? Well, I would say that Beaujolais is a great red wine pairing for several of the traditionally, mild white wine paired foods. For example, Beaujolais would pair great with a pasta with cream sauce, fish tacos, shrimp cocktail, or soup!

This Beaujolais, which was predominantly Gamay, was a reddish-purple color and had pepper, mild oak and subtle berry aromas. The taste is acidic, light-bodied and resembled a Pinot Noir. Due to its light-body, it would pair well with a heavier food (which is why I mentioned the creamed-based sauces, soups or pasta) because of its acidic nature would also cut well through the fat of these dishes. I look forward to pairing a Beaujolais, and in February, a Gamay, with these types of dishes to experience the complimentary nature. That is…in between yelling at one kid to eat and peeling the food of myself from the other one who threw it at me. I might need a few glasses of that Beaujolais….Cheers!

I purchased this Beaujolais at The Wine Gallery and Gourmet in Colorado Springs for $10 as part of their 6 bottles for $60 deal. 

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