If You Can’t Get to France This Summer, Then Let France Come to You: Exploring the Personalities of Beaujolais in NYC

Friday, July 3, 2015

Sommelier Patrick Cappiello with Discover Beaujolais’ Charles Rambaud at Huertas in New York City


We don’t have any trips to France planned for this summer (yet, our internal eternal optimists force us to add), but we were happy to have the occasion to “Think French” during a couple of recent lunches in New York City.

Last week, we joined Discover BeaujolaisCharles Rambaud at Huertas on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to taste how Beaujolais paired with its Basque-influenced Spanish cuisine — on the heels of his visits to San Francisco and Seattle to showcase its pairing prowess with Asian and Pacific Northwest cuisines.

Sommelier Patrick Cappiello (a partner of Branden McRill in Pearl & Ash and Rebelle) led us through a tasting of more than a half-dozen examples of Beaujolais, underscoring that — despite the fact that 98% of Beaujolais is red wine made from the Gamay grape — all Beaujolais is not alike.  Indeed, we kicked off lunch by enjoying a rare Beaujolais rose (which represents just 1% of all Beaujolais produced, as does white):  a 2014 Gerard Gelin Domaine des Nugues Beaujolais Villages Rosé ($16).

Other wines included a 2012 Christophe Pacalet Moulin-a-Vent ($21), 2013 Barbet Domaines des Billards Saint-Amour ($20), 2012 Coudert Clos de la Roilette Fleurie ($17, and Andrew’s favorite after impressing him with how well it paired with asparagus), 2012 Stephane Aviron “Cote du Py” Vielles Vignes Morgon ($20), 2012 Chateau Fusse “Domaine de la Conseillere” Julienas ($30), and 2013 Cominique Piron Beaujolais Villages ($15).


Upper left: Tapas; Upper right: Beaujolais can take a nice chill, especially during the summer months; Center: Charles Renaud; Lower left: Asparagus with Marcona almonds; Lower right: Potato strands sub for pasta, while a smoky-noted Beaujolais subs for bacon

Exploring the Personalities of Beaujolais


The tote bag we were given after lunch makes distinguishing one Beaujolais from another fun

“The Easy-Going”
Body:  light
Aging potential:  1-2 years

Beaujolais Villages
[brew-yee vee-lahj]
“The Charmer”
Body:  light/medium
Aging potential:  1-5 years

The 10 Crus of Beaujolais:


“The Young”
Body:  medium
Aging potential:  3-5 years

“The Full-Bodied”
Body:  FULL
Aging potential:  6-10 years

“The Real”
Body:  light/medium
Aging potential:  2-5 years

Cote de Brouilly
[coat de brew-yee]
“The Elegant”
Body:  medium/medium-plus
Aging potential:  4-6 years

“The Queen”
Body:  medium-minus/medium
Aging potential:  5-10 years

“The Earthy”
Body:  medium-plus/FULL
Aging potential:  5-10 years

“The Powerful”
Body:  FULL
Aging potential:  5-20 years

“The Great”
Body:  FULL
Aging potential:  10 years

“The Creative”
Body:  FULL
Aging potential:  3-5 years

“The Romantic”
Body:  medium
Aging potential:  2-10 years

Indeed, each of the 10 crus of Beaujolais has its own style, personality, and food pairing implications. Lighter-bodied Beaujolais pair more readily with lighter dishes (e.g., hummus, salads, summer rolls, strawberry shortcake) while fuller-bodied styles pair more easily with heartier dishes (e.g., burdock root, casseroles, eggplant, Jerusalem artichokes, lentil soup, mushrooms).  Medium-bodied Beaujolais has the flexibility to pair with either lighter or heavier dishes (e.g., macaroni and cheese, onion rings, garlic roast potatoes, potato salad, Vichyssoise).

We’re not letting our plans to be in Manhattan over the next few weeks stop us from enjoying some of France’s most idyllic summer pleasures.  Neither should you.


Discover Beaujolais is at discoverbeaujolais.com and on Twitter at twitter.com/discoverbojo.

Categorized: Wine