A New Feature: Wine Wednesday
I had mentioned earlier this week that I was starting a new feature, so without further ado, welcome to Wine Wednesday on Fork and Vine! Each Wednesday I will feature a new wine and share a little info on the wine, producer and region. I really enjoy talking about wine and sharing my knowledge and passion for it, but I also believe that wine is meant to be enjoyed and not taken too seriously. I hope you will walk away taking a little bit of info with you, at the very least making it easier to pick out wine in the super market or wine shop.
In order to take an unbiased approach I have chosen to not feature any wines from the winery I work for any wines from my previous employer, although they both make exceptional wines!
Now, raise a glass and we are on to the first wine!
For this first wine I chose a wine that is often under the radar and misunderstood in this country: Beaujolais. I actually plucked this wine from my cellar. It is a 2006 Domaine Pascal Berthier Saint-Amour.
Here is a little background on Beaujolais:
Beaujolais is a wine region in France. It is considered to be a part of Burgundy, mostly for location, but is a region in itself and governed by it's own rules separate from Burgundy's laws. The dominating grape of the region is Gamay, although Pinot Noir and Aligote are also grown there. Wines from Beaujolais vary in quality, as most places in the world, however the better quality are often shadowed by the higher production of their lower quality counterparts. There are three qualitative levels and one level separate: Beaujolais Noveau (A fruity, sometimes sweeter Beaujolais, released withing 7-9wks of harvest and meant to be consumed right away).
The Beaujolais I chose to feature is that of the highest quality region, although not particularly expensive, Beaujolais-Villages AC from Saint-Amour. Beaujolais Villages AC is are a collection of thirty villages in the Northern part of Beaujolais considered to be the highest quality.
In the United States, Beaujolais is usually synonymous with Thanksgiving dinner because it pairs well with most of the dishes, including Cranberry sauce, however I love Beaujolais anytime, especially in the summer! Don't get me wrong, I love white wine and rosé in the summer, but sometimes I really miss red wine and I am tired of the proverbial Zinfandel with bbq. The Gamay grape makes a delicious and refreshing red varietal great for summer. They are often characterized as light-med bodied with high acidity and low tannins with aromas and flavors like strawberry, cherry, bananas, bubblegum, white pepper, clove, and herbs.
Now for this wine in particular:
Domaine Pascal Berthier 2006 Saint-Amour had lovely, refreshing aromas of sweet strawberries, peaches, bubblegum, white pepper, vanilla and clove with flavors that echoed the same and a nice long peppery finish. It opened up nicely over the evening and we enjoyed it with grilled salmon with an asian marinade and a chickpea-raisin salad (it paired nicely with both).
Next time you are craving a bright and lively red wine I recommend giving gamay, and more specifically, Beaujolais a try!