What To Pair With Your Next Meal? Try Beaujolais!

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.

There are three categories of Beaujolais:

  • Beaujolais – There are 72 Villages that make up this category.
  • Beaujolais Village – There are 38 Villages in this category.
  • Beaujolais Cru – There are 10 Crus (Brouilly, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Regnie, Saint-Amout, Chenas, Cote de Brouilly, Julienas, Morgon and Moulin-a-Vent) in total and are considered the gems of Beaujolais.

We started with a glass of fruity, fresh and bright Rose (Pierre-Marie Chermette, Domaine du Vissoux Les Griottes Beaujolais Rose 2012) and then moved on to a glass of Chardonnay (Jean-Paul Brun Domaine des Terres Dorees Beaujolais Blanc 2011) that had aromas of melon and apple. Now that our palates were awake, it was time to start pairing the Beaujolais with food.


First Round:

Steamed Dim Sum Platter (scallop shumai, har gau, Chinese chive dumpling and black crab dumpling), Crispy Duck Salad (with pomelo, pine nuts and shallot) and Sesame Prawn Toast paired with Jean Marc Burgaud Vignes de Thulon Beaujolais Villages 2012, Maison Louis Tete Moulin a Vent 2012 and Daniel Bouland Chiroubles 2012


Round Two:

Baked Sea Bass with Chines Honey, Spicy Wild Prawn Curry (lily bulb and almond flakes), Sanapei Corn Fed Chicken Claypot (spring onion, dried chili and thai sweet basil), Beef Tenderloin with Bell Pepper in Mongolia Sauce and Jasmine Tea Smoked Chicken paired with Domaine Jean Claude Lapalu Cuvee Vielles Vignes Brouilly 2012Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2012Maison Louis Jadot Chateau des Jacques En Papolet Chenas 2011Georges Duboefu Chateau Des Capitans Julienas 2011 and Domaine Cheveau Champs Grilles Saint Amour 2010

Round Three:

Sweet & Sour Pork, Tofu and Aubergine Claypot, Seared New Zealand Lamb Chops, Stir Fried Lily Root, Lily Bulb and Asparagus and Egg and Scallion Fried Rice paired with Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly 2012Charly Thevenet Grain et Granit Regnie 2011 and Domaine Jean Foillard Fleurie 2010

While the wines were paired with various courses, the glasses remained on the table throughout the dinner which allowed us to go back and revisit the wines with different dishes. The fruity, earthy wines had great acidity that paired from the shrimp to the lamp chops.There wasn’t a wine on the table that didn’t pair well with the food. So, next time you are looking for that perfect wine to pair with your meal, try a Beaujolais wine!