Beaujolais Bangers: Why do we Love Them so Much?
Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Beaujolais is the darling of bon vivant wine enthusiasts worldwide; with it's bright, perfumed juicy fruit aromas and round light tannin, it's a go to wine for when you want something delicious, seriously chuggable and potentially chilled. By now, its reputation has improved so much that it's almost a cliché to explain that the region is more than just badly made 'Beaujolais Nouveau' rushed out of the winery gates in time for the 3rd Thursday in November. Gone also (when you leave the supermarket) are the days of Beaujolais bent and buckled into the style of a heavier wine to follow the market trends, and good producers now know that Gamay is a grape that's best expressed in a lighter bodied and fruit forward drop. As such, we've added a 'Beaujolais & Co' filter to the bottle shop to help you explore the region to the south of Burgundy, as well as bottles from around the world that mirror their style.
So I say it's a cliché, but I should also briefly explain the tumultuous reputation and history of this beloved wine...
Historically - like for hundreds of years historically - Beaujolais has grown the Gamay grape (and a little Chardonnay for the lesser seen Beaujolais blanc) on the mostly granitic rolling hills just north of Lyon, where the grapes achieve relatively low levels of sugar by harvest time, and thus low levels of alcohol, light body and high acid. As Kermit Lynch puts it in his seminal memoir "Adventure's on the wine route" in the 80's (I fully recommend to read this beautiful book): "Traditional Lyonnaise cuisine needs to be accompanied by cool draughts of the wine that was once Beaujolais. A heavy wine would have diminished the requisite appetite." What Kermit was referring to by a wine that "was once Beaujolais" is