With Thanksgiving just about a month away, it’s time to start thinking about the wines you’ll serve to your family and guests at one of the greatest feasts of the year. I’m sure many of you will head to the grocery store shortly before the meal to buy the requisite bottle(s) of Beaujolais Nouveau from one of the larger, commercial producers, and that’s completely fine. But if you’re looking to shake things up a bit this year, you should seriously consider trying a Beaujolais from one of the many, higher quality, smaller producers.
Beaujolais is a region in the southern part of Burgundy, and the grape that reigns supreme there is Gamay. The wine comes in many styles, forms, and quality levels, but the one that most people are familiar with is Beaujolais Nouveau. Fermented just after the harvest, the resulting wines tend to be the lightest and fruitiest of all Beaujolais. A good bottle of Nouveau should possess a youthful and charming personality and it should flow with fresh and tart flavors of red fruits. A perfect partner to turkey and all of the fixings, a good bottle of Beaujolais is always on the table at Thanksgiving at my house.
Unfortunately, not all of these wines are created equally, and when Beaujolais Nouveau is bad, it can be atrocious. That’s why I always recommend buying wines made by smaller, artisan, quality-focused producers. A couple of my favorite Beaujolais producers are Pierre-Marie Chermette and Jean-Paul Brun. Both producers farm their vineyards organically, harvest by hand, and ferment with native yeasts and their wines are always among the best produced each and every year. All of these will arrive and be available for sale on Thursday, November 20th and we’ll be pouring all of them at a free tasting on Friday, November 21st starting at 4:00. We invite you to join us in kicking off the holiday season with the first taste of the wines of 2014.