A Night for Beaujolais


There are two types of Friday nights. Those when you’re ready to pass out and those when you’re ready to let loose. A dark, full-bodied Cab is great for a cozy night at home. But, a night out calls for something a little more lively. Which is why you typically reach for a white or sparkling. Fret no more, red lovers. There’s a Friday-night-get-loose-wine for you. The grape’s Gamay, the label says Beaujolais.

We’re not talking about Beaujolais Nouveau, a young wine that is bottled and drank right after harvest. But we’re talking about Cru Beaujolais. The Beaujolais Crus (there are ten of them) are just south of Burgundy and produce wines that are light, acidic and fruity.

This 2012 Roland Pignard Morgon is one of my favorites. It does the trick on a Friday night that is about to get turnt or anytime an invigorating red wine is needed. It’s light, juicy and acidic. It dances around on your tongue.

There’s cranberry, cherry, and floral. It’s easy drinking, but exciting. And always best served slightly chilled.

It’s a wine to reignite a Friday night, to drink all night long.

And won’t make you feel like wearing flannel pants, furry slippers and watching the Golden Girls…

Roland Pignard
Variety: Gamay
Vintage: 2012
Region: Morgon, Beaujolais
Price: About $18

It’s Here! Beaujolais Nouveau

beaujolais nouveau

The third Thursday in November is Beaujolais Nouveau Day. In France, this means a big party to mark the consumption of the first wines of the season. This was yesterday, the 17th.

Since the celebration is held immediately after harvest, the wines being consumed are very young. In most cases they were only harvested six to eight weeks earlier. The whole process: harvest, fermentation and bottling happened in less than two months.

The wine’s easy drinkability is due to a winemaking process called carbonic maceration, where the whole-berry is fermented prior to crushing the grapes. The product is a fresh, fruity wine, with minimal tannins.

The grapes are Gamay. The region is Beaujolais, just south of Burgundy. The region is split into three classifications: Beaujolais AOC, Beaujolais Villages AOC and Beaujolais Crus. Beaujolais Nouveau comes from the southernmost region: Beaujolais. The other two regions give their wine more time to develop. Cru Beaujolais is the most prestigious of the three areas.

Beaujolais Nouveau is not meant to be fancy or serious. It’s young, fresh, easy-drinking.

It’s made for a party. So do just that. Serve it chilled and with friends and appreciate how quickly those winemakers turned this wine around.

My party was made up of Beaujolais from the entire region. 

beaujolais nouveau

  • 2016 Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau
  • 2013 Dupeuble Beaujolais Blanc
  • 2016 Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais Nouveau
  • 2014 Domaine Diochon Moulin-a-Vent
  • 2014 Joel Rochette Beaujolais Village
  • 2014 Domaine des Chers Julienas Vielles Vignes
  • 2014 Domaine de la Chapelle Des Bois Fleurie Grand Pre