Wine 101 - What is Beaujolais?


It's that time of year again where the world of wine goes crazy about Beaujolais, and in particular the fad of Beaujolais Nouveau. Now, as well as having a dedicated day to celebrate the most popular freshest and youngest vin de primeur, (the term the French use to describe a wine that is sold in the same year it is harvested), Beaujolais is a popular, all year round wine, but what is it?

I am going to lay my cards out on the table. I'm not a fan. My tastes for red wine require depth and intensity and I'm sorry but for me Beaujolais does not offer that (or maybe my young taste buds are yet to experience one that does). That being said, I have the upmost respect for a wine that is loved by so many and has created a fresh appearance to match its flavour.

For those of you who do not know, Beaujolais is a region in France and the wine must be produced with a grape called Gamay, which is similar to its Burgundy cousin Pinot Noir. Within the region of Beaujolais you have certain villages that also produce the light, fruity wine that are classed as more premium - Beaujolais-Villages. Above those sits one particular area that goes by the name of Fleurie, that is deemed the most premium Beaujolais producing area.

"Here you go you crazy people, have some more Beaujolais!"

This light, fruity and fresh wine is loved by many and celebrated on the 3rd Thursday of November every year when the Nouveau vin de primeur are released to the wild. The marketing aspect behind this is excellent. People go crazy for Beaujolais and if you're into your wine you'll know through the powers of social media because on the 17th they are a wash with Nouveau nutters sharing their love - hence the respect for creating an excellent marketing message.

There's another reason why people like it. Well, there's actually a few. It is neutral, non offensive, a safe option, not heavy, easy to drink... But also the name. Find me one person who doesn't like saying Beaujolais! It sounds professional when ordering but also comical when performing and it rolls off the tongue with a certain ease. But it is not for me.

As you know, at Grape Juice Wines, we hunt out the uncommon and rare varieties of wine that help people like yourselves discover new things and expand your wine 101. Here's a challenge for you... While everyone is going Nouveau on the 17th November, why not try Brecciaro from Leonardo Bussoletti. Made with a grape called Ciliegiolo and from Umbria, Italy, Brecciaro is a light red wine with juicy, ripe red berries similar to a Beaujolais but the flavour is longer lasting and a touch more complex which makes this a decent alternative to the mainstream.

And to help you on your way, here's 15% your first order of Brecciaro using code BRECCIARO15 at check out.

Go on.. Go for it!

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