Beaujolais Red Wine

Some wine lovers are familiar with Beaujolais Nouveau but aren’t aware of other Beaujolais wines or that white or rosé Beaujolais wines exist! Here are the 10 most important facts about this beloved French wine.

What Kind of Wine is Beaujolais?

Beaujolais wine is usually made from Gamay grapes, which are purple grapes primarily grown in the village of Gamay in France’s Burgundy region. However, Beaujolais can also be made with chardonnay grapes.

 

The most basic classification is Beaujolais AOC, which can be made anywhere in the Beaujolais region of France. Beaujolais Villages wine comes from particular villages in the region's hilly, granite-rich northern area and is often more expressive and of higher quality. Beaujolais Crus is typically the highest-quality kind of Beaujolais wine. Beaujolais Nouveau is a special kind of wine harvested the same year it’s bottled and sold.

Where Is Beaujolais Wine From?

Beaujolais wines are made in the Beaujolais province of Northeastern France, which is part of the Burgundy region. There are 12 appellations of Beaujolais wine defined by the area in which it is made.

How Is Beaujolais Wine Best Served?

Beaujolais wine is best served slightly chilled, ideally between 15 and 17 ℃ (59 to 62.6 ℉). It doesn’t need to be decanted.

What does Beaujolais Wine Taste Like?

Beaujolais wine is mellow, tart, light, and fruity with acidity, minerality, and gentle tannins. Its flavor includes dark red fruits like strawberries, cherries, and raspberries.

What Color Is Beaujolais Wine?

Most Beaujolais wine has a bright ruby or garnet color to it. Some Beaujolais wines are white wines or rosés; these are bright golden or light pinkish colors.

What is the ABV Of Beaujolais Wine?

Beaujolais wine is always at least 10-13% alcohol. Its low ABV (alcohol by volume) makes it very drinkable.

What Pairs With Beaujolais Wine?

Hors d’oeuvres and mild cheeses, poultry dishes, and grilled veggies, especially mushrooms, pair exceptionally well with Beaujolais wine.

Is Beaujolais Wine Expensive?

Beaujolais AOC tends to be the least expensive type of Beaujolais wine, followed by Beaujolais Villages, then Beaujolais Crus, which is the most costly.

Is Beaujolais the same as Pinot Noir?

Pinot Noir and Beaujolais are both light-bodied red wines, but they are not the same thing. Pinot Noir is its own grape while most Beaujolais reds are made with the Gamay grape. Some Beaujolais wine aged longer than others have many flavors in common with many pinot noirs.

Why Is Beaujolais Nouveau Called “Thanksgiving Wine?”

Beaujolais Nouveau is a vin de premeur, or wine sold the same year its grapes are harvested. The grapes used to make it are rapidly fermented using a process called “carbonic maceration.” In France, there is a holiday called Beaujolais Nouveau Day that always takes place on the third Thursday of November, which coincides with the week before Thanksgiving in the U.S. Consequently, Beaujolais Nouveau is often associated with Thanksgiving. It also goes well with turkey, cranberries, and other popular staples traditionally served at Thanksgiving dinner.

How Do I Find The Best Beaujolais Wine?

For the best Beaujolais wine, expect to spend at least $20-25 per bottle. Look for any of the 10 Crus of Beaujolais: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Régnie and St-Amour. These will be more expensive, so if you’re looking for more affordable bottles without sacrificing quality, look for Beaujolais Villages.