Red wine fans may not know that Beaujolais is part of the Burgundy region in northern France.

Beaujolais Nouveau had its heyday in the UK in the 70s and 80s and was famous for the car race to buy it, on the third Thursday in November. 

It is still very popular in Paris and tastes pretty good with steak frites in a side street bistro. 

Beaujolais produces serious wine too. Made from the Gamay grape, the Beaujolais ‘cru’ wines offer an affordable alternative to top quality Pinot Noir from Burgundy for the wine lover looking for similar light, fresh reds. Many have enjoyed the prettily named Fleurie but may not realise it is just one of 10 Beaujolais communes with ‘cru status’. 

Beaujolais is very food friendly – an especially good choice for charcuterie and cheese – and can be lightly chilled to bring out the appealing, cherry fruit flavours. 

Two recommendations are: 

Morgon, Vielles Vignes, Jean-Paul Thévenet, £19.95Roberson – class in a glass. Luscious, juicy, beefy. Miles ahead of most of its peers. Made with evident expertise, a joy. 

Brouilly, Henry Fessy, £10.99, Waitrose – like a new cashmere jumper, soft and grippy in equal measure. Juicy and fruity too. Tres bien with Ginger Pig Toulouse sausages. 

A good range of Beaujolais is also available from highly regarded UK wine retailer, The Wine Society

(photo – d u y u g u )

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