Gamay, Beaujolais Nouveau and Wine Tasting Adventures
First, let me start by saying that being Wine Esquire and having a baby are not always so compatible. Little baby fingers like to grab things they shouldn’t; and little baby lungs like to cry as soon as you sit down to type/sleep/drink wine/fold laundry/eat/shower, etc. I’m writing now with a baby on my lap. This is a first and he’s suddenly discovered that his life’s burning desire is to type! But we’re working through it, slowly but surely. One glass at a time.
I’ve also noticed that my palate is totally different post-Baby. Going wine-free for 9ish months clearly had an impact. My favorite big, smoky Cabs now find me smacking my lips and looking for a glass of sparkling water to cleanse my palate. Instead, I’m now gravitating toward lighter grapes like Pinot Noir, Gamay and Pinotage.
This evening’s glass is a lovely French Gamay; an easy drinker, perfect for my new sensitive palate.
Slight traces of sweet raspberries on the soft pretty nose make way for a soft, silky and jammy sip of wine with a touch of sparkle on the finish. Now this is what I’m talking about!
… fast forward one week and I’ve finally gotten the chance to get my computer open again…
The bottle was the 2015 Georges Duboeuf Juliénas Château des Capitans, 100% Gamay grown on the grounds of a 19th-century castle in the heart of the AOC Cru Juliénas, on a tiny plot of land known as Les Capitans. Juliénas is a village named after Julius Caesar; local vintners believe this area was home to the first vines planted in Beaujolais by the Romans during their conquest of Gaul.
Unbeknownst to me when I opened last weekend’s bottle of Gamay, it
was Beaujolais Nouveau release week! Never heard of Beaujolais Nouveau? On the third Thursday of November, the winemakers of Beaujolais, France release the product of their most recent vintage. The wine, having just been picked weeks before, is fresh, new and ready to drink right away. Georges Duboeuf essentially introduced the Beaujolais Nouveau holiday in the US in 1982, and quickly gained recognition with his iconic, colorful wine labels. He is perhapss the most well-known producer from the region, and he’s not just a fly by night marketing genius, his family’s history of wine making spans four centuries.
Beaujolais Day happens to arrive just in time for Thanksgiving every year… coincidence? I think not! Light, fruity Gamay is PERFECT to pair with turkey and all the fixins.
Given that it was a wine celebration week, I continued on the Beaujolais path and attended a fabulous tasting at Max’s Oyster Bar. This was my first wine event since Baby Wine Esquire and I have to admit, I was a bit rusty, but it was a great reintroduction to the wine world, confirming that I’m ready to be back.
The tasting started with the 2017 release of Terres Dorées L’Ancien by Jean-Paul Brun, paired with an excellent pate de foie gras. The wine was super juicy and screamed of bright cherries. Jean-Paul Brun ha been a staple in Beaujolais since the late 1970s, producing 400,000 bottles per year from grapes planted on his 40 acres throughout the region.
As the tasting moved on, with a delectable Soufflé au Homard, Bourride Pyramidale and Poulet en Fricassee Louhaannise, so did the ages of the Beaujolais. It’s important to remember that not all wine grown in Beaujolais is the unaged nouveau release; Gamay ages quite beautifully. The next selections were all beautiful wines, but the rusty WineySquire forgot to take home her notes. I’ll be better next time. Promise.
The important takeaway here is that Gamay from Beaujolais is a serious winner, with lots of stunners for less than $25. So if you haven’t shopped for Turkey Day yet, head out and try some Beaujolais!
My fellow bloggers know how difficult it is to get something published as it is; now with a little bundle of joy bopping around, it’s been proving even more difficult.
 It was 9 “ish” because this baby took 41 weeks to make his world debut and by the end, he was fully cooked, and a little bit of wine did us both a lotta good.
 And by “this evening” I mean last Sunday. #winebloggerproblems
 Baby Wine Esquire is currently amusing himself by trying to eat his crinkly and squishy Very Hungry Caterpillar Book … #teething
 A sample I received from Quintessential Wines. Merci!
 If that’s the case, then you probably live under a rock!
 Beaujolais is a region, not a type of grape. Roughly pronounced Beau-ju-lay.
 Similar to Bordeaux’s En Primeur concept, only this wine is very drinkable right after harvest.
 Speaking of which, I’m so excited for all the fixins. #sweetpotatoparsnsipsandgreenbeansohmy
 So much so that I left the menu with my notes on the table. #amateur
 Lobster Soufflé
 Fish Stew
 Braised Chicken
 BTW, during the course of finishing this blog, Baby Wine Esquire became completely disinterested in his crinkly book, got super fussy and is now napping. #thankgodmybabylovestosleep