French Wine 101: Beaujolais

by tarynlachter

Like all wines of the Old World, this gorgeous wine is named for the region from which it comes: Beaujolais, France.

Technically it is part of the Burgundy region but the climate is more similar to that of Rhone.

The actual character of the wine is something altogether unique.

Like all wines of the Old World, this gorgeous wine is named for the region from which it comes: Beaujolais, FranceTechnically it is part of the Burgundy region (which explains why it’s so lovely!) but the climate is more similar to that of Rhone, and the actual character of the wine is something altogether unique. Thus, the Beaujolais gets its own name and own reputation.

Red, rosé, and white wines are grown in this region but the red is the most popular by far. Made from Gamay and Chardonnay grapes, respectively, these wines are produced in the crus of Beaujolais, or small vicinities within the larger region. There are ten crus in the northern part of the region, and these areas are known to produce the most sophisticated, worldly bottles for which the Beaujolais is known.

Although whites and rosés are easily found in Beaujolais, the global star from this region is the simple, rustic red. This is one of those wines you can drink on all occasions – whether it’s a celebration, the end of a long day, a girl’s night in, or a summer picnic. It’s extremely fruity, with lovely douses of red fruits like pomegranate and berries, but also has a high acidity and low level of tannins which creates a beautiful balance. 

There are two subsections of production within Beaujolais: Nouveau and Villages. Beaujolais Villages is the northern part of the region that houses the 10 crus, and is typically where you’ll find the more elegant wines. Beaujolais Nouveau isn’t a bad wine – it’s still a French red, after all – but it’s more like the generic version of a high end brand. 

Because of the fruity flavor and gentle balance of acidity and tannins, a red Beaujolais can pair well with just about everything. You’ll be hard pressed to find a meat that isn’t immediately amplified when paired with this wine but poultry and game do especially well. Rich, creamy French cheeses are a lovely pair; consider Comté, Raclette, or Brie. Hearty root vegetables, pungent, acidic spices like mustard and horseradish, and fragrant herbs are all wonderful partners to the Beaujolais. 

If you’re looking for something to stock up on while you hang out on your fire escape all summer, the Beaujolais is an excellent choice. There are many producers who sell across the world, so call your local wine shop and ask who they recommend! 



FEATURED EVENTS

New York Wine Events

October 23, 2021

A once-in-a-lifetime experience

Piedmont Italy: Barolo and Barbaresco tour

Oct 23 – 30, 2021
6 nights, 7 days
Milan, Barolo, Alba, and Turin

RESERVE NOW
New York Wine Events

September 23, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Kotti Berliner – Food & Wine Pairing

Join us for a Virtual Food & Wine Pairing with Brooklyn’s Kotti Berliner. Explore delicious döner kebabs paired with wine. Meet Kotti founder, Erkan Emre.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

September 16, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Broadbent Selections – Portugal

Join us for a Virtual Tasting with one of America’s leading importers of high-quality Portuguese wines.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

September 2, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Cusumano Winery – Sicily, Italy

Join us for a Virtual Tasting with the maker of the #1 selling Sicilian wine in the U.S.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

August 26, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Kunde Family Winery

Join us for a Virtual Tasting. The Kunde family has farmed an 1,850-acre estate in Sonoma Valley for 100 years.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

August 19, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards

Join us for a Virtual Tasting. Great wine starts in the vineyard.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

August 12, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Dutcher Crossing Winery

Join us for a Virtual Tasting. Distinctive and hand-crafted wines produced from award-winning vineyards.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

June 12, 2020

At Your Home

RGNY At-Home Blending Session

Be your own winemaker for a day — guided by a professional on Zoom video!

PURCHASE KIT & ZOOM TICKET
New York Wine Events

May 29, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Virtual Wine & Pizza Tasting with Jamesport Vineyards

What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 28, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Foxen Winery & Vineyard Virtual Tasting

Experience the magic of Santa Barbara wine.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 28, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Foxen Winery & Vineyard Virtual Tasting

Experience the magic of Santa Barbara wine.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 21, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Chateau Montelena Winery Virtual Tasting

This tasting will be epic.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 19, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Ridge Vineyards Virtual Tasting – Monte Bello winery

The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 18, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Tenuta di Lilliano Virtual Tasting

Very special tasting. Don’t miss it!

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 15, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Pedroncelli Winery Virtual Tasting

Four Generations of Family Pride at Pedroncelli Winery, since 1927

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 14, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Provence Rosé Group Virtual Tasting

The best rosé in the world comes from Provence.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 13, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

St. Francis Winery Virtual Tasting

Voted “#1 in America” in 2013 and 2015 by Open Table customers.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 12, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Ridge Vineyards Virtual Tasting – Lytton Springs

The New York Times described Ridge’s Cabernet Sauvignon as America’s greatest.

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 11, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Oak Farm Vineyards Virtual Tasting

Visit the famous wine-growing region of Lodi County, California – virtually!

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

May 8, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Goldschmidt Vineyards Virtual Tasting

Visit Sonoma County – virtually!

RSVP FOR FREE
New York Wine Events

April 18, 2020

Marlboro, NY

Wines & Bites!

Hudson Valley’s yummiest wine and food tasting event

GET TICKETS
New York Wine Events

March 7, 2020

New York’s Premier Winter Wine Event

NYC Winter Wine and Food Festival

Enjoy a winter getaway without even leaving the city.

GET TICKETS
New York Wine Events

January 19, 2020

Riverhead, NY

RG|NY Blending Session

Join RG|NY winemaker Lilia Perez, for a unique tasting and blending session.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

December 14, 2019

Ulster & Orange Counties, NY

Wreath Fineries at the Wineries

Don’t miss the ultimate holiday wine tasting event in the Hudson Valley. Sales end Thursday, Dec 12 at 11:59pm!

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

November 14, 2019

New York, NY

Around The World In 10 Wines

Experience a global tasting in 2 hours with award-winning artisan cheese and charcuterie

PURCHASE TICKETS

RELATED WINE BLOGS

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

Wines Aged in Spirit Barrels
Barrel-aging is a key attribute to winemaking. It’s part of the process that is called élevage, which in French refers to maturing of flavors that happens during bottling and fermenting. Back in the 1600s, the barrel was actually used for storing and while we no longer need to store in the same way, we’ve gotten - Read More
Read more...

Thursday, March 25th, 2021

The 5 Best Wine Decanters to Buy Right Now
A fine wine is like a prime cut of meat. Sure, it’s beautiful on its own but with the right amount of love and care, it can be extraordinary! There are some wines that can be consumed straight out of the bottle and they are always welcome at our tables but there are others that - Read More
Read more...

Friday, March 12th, 2021

Italy – Discover the Primitivo Grape
If you’ve heard of Zinfandel, then you are aware (perhaps unknowingly) of its twin, Primitivo. Primitivo has been around for far longer but has gotten much less publicity than it’s fraternal counterpart, the Zin. Currently, the former resides in Puglia, Italy but it arrived there via Croatia somewhere in the 1700s. It went fairly unnoticed - Read More
Read more...
LOAD MORE