Beaujolais is a light red wine made with Gamay Noir grapes. It features tart cherry, cranberry and raspberry flavours, along with notes of smoke, violet, bubblegum and mushroom. Low in tannin and high in acidity, Beaujolais is the perfect pairing for lighter simple fare, such as Hamburgers, Turkey Sandwiches, Tuna Fish Sandwiches, French Onion Soup, Manhattan Clam Chowder, Coq Au Vin, Chicken Wings, Chicken Pot Pie, a Brunch Buffet, Pad Thai, Chili, Rabbit, Ceviche, or Sausage. Basically, any light meal has a spot at the table for a glass of Beaujolais served lightly chilled.
In a previous blog, we also discussed Beaujolais Nouveau, which is a wine released on the third Thursday in November to celebrate the first vintage of the year and is heavily marketed as a fun event. Beaujolais differs from Beaujolais Nouveau in that with Beaujolais, you’ll find more personality, with its subtle flavours of bubblegum, smoke, violet and banana. There is also Beaujolais Cru, which, while still not expensive, are a bit more pricier and will feature even deeper flavours. Beaujolais Cru will pair with similar foods, but due to its deeper flavours, Beaujolais Cru is best with dishes that have an earthier character such as Brie Cheese, Rabbit in a mushroom sauce, turkey slathered in gravy, or a creamy mushroom risotto.
Grilled Hamburgers with Ketchup & Beaujolais
Plain Hamburgers will pair with pretty much any wine, but when it comes to toppings, this is where things get trickier. Ketchup is an acidic condiment, and when paired against red wines with a lot of tannin, it makes the wine taste metallic. Beaujolais with its high acidity holds its own, and complement the fruity ketchup flavours. Meanwhile the smokey and mushroom notes of Beaujolais further enhance the meal.
Grilled Sausage on a Bun & Beaujolais
Grilled Sausage is another meal that often involves toppings, such as ketchup, mustard, grilled onions, mushrooms or sauerkraut. Beaujolais lack of tannin, means it won’t have to fight with the acidic vinegar in the Mustard, or against the zing of Sauerkraut. Instead you’ll find unity as the flavours of the wine and grilled sausage blend together in perfect harmony.
Typically when we have Grilled Sausage on a bun, it’s in the early afternoon or summer sun like at a Ballgame, before a concert, at a BBQ, etc. The low alcohol of Beaujolais allows this wine to offer a sense of refreshment, and you can go about enjoying the festivities without being day drunk and dehydrated.
Spicy Chicken Wings & Beaujolais
With its crisp acidity, and low alcohol content, Beaujolais is perfect for spicy hot chicken wings. The caspian content in hot sauce will only burn hotter when you throw alcohol on it for fuel. Thus, you want a lower in alcohol red like Beaujolais, where the fruitiness of the wine comes off as refreshing and whisks both the sauce and the greasiness of the Chicken Wings away.
We also love how the subtle smoky flavours of Beaujolais complement most hot sauces you will encounter.
Tuna Fish Sandwiches & Beaujolais
Beaujolais is the ultimate picnic wine. It’s light, fruity, and low in alcohol, which is exactly what you want in a picnic wine, as getting tipsy and dehydrated in the hot sun is never fun. Canned Tuna is particularly difficult to pair with, as tannin makes the meat taste tinny. Fortunately, with Beaujolais, there’s a lack of tannin, so it will pair up nicely with a freshly made tuna fish sandwich. Meanwhile, the acidity in the wine cuts right through the rich mayonnaise, that coats your tongue and whisks those tastebud clotting fats away. This all makes for a frisky pairing that will make for a great afternoon out in the sun.
And no worries, no matter what the sandwich you pack in your picnic basket, it’s almost guaranteed Beaujolais will pair well, whether it be Ham & Cheese, Salmon, Turkey or Roast beef.
Quiche & Beaujolais Pairing
Quiche is usually part of an ensemble meal, like a at a brunch or picnic, where you enjoy it with a wide variety of foods. Beaujolais, with its crisp acidity cuts through the rich and creamy texture of Quiche. Meanwhile, the food-friendly nature of Beaujolais ensures it will pair up with dozens of other dishes at your bruch or picnic with ease, such as bacon, breakfast sausage, egg salad sandwiches or salmon.