The spotlight shines brightly on Beaujolais Nouveau when it is released annually on the third Thursday of November, but it isn't the only wine worth celebrating from this region in eastern France. There are actually 12 Beaujolais appellations and each showcases a different personality of the luscious Gamay grape. Made only from handpicked Gamay grapes, Beaujolais wines tend to be light to medium-bodied reds and they taste great slightly chilled - making them a perfect sip for the summer season. Incredibly versatile, Beaujolais pairs brilliantly with a wide variety of cuisines and takes the stress out of matching food with wine. Here are three Beaujolais suggestions to get you started.
In a region where red wines rule, rosé is not too common, so Domaine des Nugues Beaujolais Villages Rosé 2014 ($16) is quite special. The flirty shade of pink catches the eye and the palate is seduced by a balance of fruit, acidity, and a hint of earthiness.
Domaine des Billards Saint-Amour paired quite nicely with this clever appetizer of Chicken Liver Mousse on Toasted Bread with Charred Chicken Hearts from Huertas - a Spanish restaurant in NYC. Not just for French food, Beaujolais works with a variety of cuisine.
Feeling romantic? Domaine des Billards Saint-Amour 2013 ($20) is the Beaujolais for you! The most northernly of the Beaujolais crus, Saint-Amour sells tremendously during Valentine's Day and many tourists even venture to the region to get married. You can have that loving feeling year-round with a glass of this medium-bodied red that is fruity with just a subtle hint of spice. After all, what's romance without the spice!
Last, but certainly not least, is Fleurie - the Queen of Beaujolais. Described as the most feminine of the Beaujolais Crus, the vineyards of Fleurie are planted in unique pink granite soils that impart an elegant and fruity style. Clos de la Roilette Fleurie 2012 ($17) is a great representation of this cru - it is velvety with a sophisticated earthiness and a touch of minerality that make it a great match with more substantial foods like grilled meats.
Visit Discover Beaujolais, to learn more about the lovely wines of Beaujolais.