Beaujolais Cru Archives - Please The Palate
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November is here and that means Thanksgiving is around the corner. Looking for the perfect wine to enjoy with your Thanksgiving meal? Try a Beaujolais. Not a Beaujolais Nouveau but one from one of the Crus of Beaujolais, which I wrote about in my recent column in the Napa Valley Register and you can read here.
Have you been waiting for November to drink Beaujolais? I hope not!

Beaujolais is so much more than the Beaujolais Nouveau released each November, just after harvest and just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. But if you have been waiting for November to drink Beaujolais, it is time to get serious about Beaujolais.

There are different styles of Beaujolais that will satisfy all palates, styles and desires. And Beaujolais prices are affordable. So, when you cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a bottle of Burgundy, a bottle of Beaujolais will satisfy.

Beaujolais is located immediately south of Burgundy. While it is sometimes considered a part of Burgundy, it is not. Unlike Burgundy, which grows Pinot Noir, the grape of Beaujolais is Gamay. Gamay is not the shallow one-dimensional grape you might think it is but rather a grape that will charm and has the power to seduce.

This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.

The sun was setting as we drove to our dinner at Chateau Moulin-à-Vent. It was my first time to Beaujolais, and as we turned up the road to our destination, we saw, sitting on the top of the hill in front of us, the iconic Moulin-à-Vent, or windmill.

The 500-year-old structure was breathtaking as the sky turned from a light yellow to a warm orange. After a few photos, we drove 650 feet farther and arrived at Chateau Moulin-à-Vent.

Moulin-à-Vent, located in the southernmost tip of Burgundy, is one of the 10 Crus of Beaujolais. Moulin-à-Vent borders the vineyards of Chenas to the north and Fleurie to the south.

So when I say Beaujolais, you might think of Beaujolais Nouveau, that super fruity wine that comes out every Thanksgiving. But, let's talk about the "real" Beaujolais, a versatile and food friendly wine that will pair with your next meal! If Pinot Noir is your grape of choice, Beaujolais, made with the Gamay grape, is a great alternative and somewhat similar! The region of Beaujolais is bordered by the region of Burgundy (home of Pinot Noir). The two wines have many similar characteristics - light to medium bodied wines with red berries, spices and floral aromas and great acidity on the palate. And, the white grape of both Burgundy and Beaujolais is Chardonnay. Best of all, Beaujolais wines are wines that can pair with so many foods as demonstrated recently on the West Coast Beaujolais Food Feast where the wines were paired with seafood in Portland, Mexican food in San Diego and Asian food in Los Angeles, which I got to attend at Hakkasan in Beverly Hills.