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Gamay

Delightfully playful yet at its best capable of impressive gravitas...

Delightfully playful yet at its best capable of impressive gravitas, Gamay is responsible for juicy, berry-flavored wines in Beaujolais and parts of the Loire Valley. It has received some criticism for its role in Beaujolais Nouveau, a young beverage more reminiscent of fruit punch than wine. But make no mistake—the Gamay grape is very capable of producing light yet serious wines, especially in the cru villages of Beaujolais. The variety is also widely planted in Savoie and Switzerland, and has recently found success on a small but growing scale in Oregon.

In the Glass

Though delicious on its own, Gamay is the quintessential picnic red and goes well with simple charcuterie, country pate, and terrines. With a light chill, it is an outstanding partner for oysters. Gentle tannins and bright acidity make it a great option with spicy Asian food. It can also be a great pairing with poultry, especially duck or Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce.

Perfect Pairings

Gamay is delicious on its own, especially with a light chill. It is the quintessential picnic red and goes well with simple charcuterie, country pate, and terrines. Served at a cool temperature, it is an unexpected but outstanding partner for freshly shucked oysters. Gentle tannins and bright acidity make it a great option with Asian food, even dishes with a bit of a spicy kick. Gamay can also be a great pairing with poultry, especially duck or Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce.

Sommelier Secret

Within Beaujolais, there are ten different crus, or highly ranked grape-growing communes. Each one has its own distinct personality—Fleurie is delicate and floral, Côte de Brouilly is concentrated and elegant, and Morgon is serious, structured, and age-worthy, capable of rivaling some red Burgundies.

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  • Duboeuf Morgon Jean-Ernest Descombes 2015
    Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
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  • Jean-Paul Brun Domaine des Terres Dorees Beaujolais L'Ancien Vieilles Vignes 2015
    Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
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  • Stephane Aviron Cote de Brouilly Vieilles Vignes 2014
    Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
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