Beaujolais is the most southern wine growing region in Burgundy, though it is substantially different from rest of Burgundy, both in climate and in the wine it produces, it is often thought of as its own appellation.
Beaujolais produces light, dry red wines made from Gamay. Perhaps what the region is best known for is Beaujolais Nouveau, a fresh and fruity red wine made for immediate consumption.
Beaujolais is described as a refreshing red with low tannins and bright acidity. Juicy strawberry and raspberry fruit aromas are the hallmark of these wines. The more serious Beaujolais Crus sport mineral and earthy notes, as well as tart cranberry and violet overtones.
Some 35 million bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau are packed and shipped worldwide, within two months of harvest, hitting US shores around Thanksgiving! Roughly one-third of Beaujolais’ production is dedicated to producing wines in the quaffable Nouveau style.
The remaining production is typically labeled as Beaujolais-Villages and there are 10 distinctive Crus, which are from distinct vineyard sites. Beaujolais Crus, unlike Nouveau wines, are darker in color, richer and fuller in body and can withstand some aging.
Nouveau is a classic wine at the Thanksgiving table—it loves roasted turkey and cranberry sauce, and it will also pair amiably with smoked salmon or trout, pork chops, quiche and charcuterie.