The most interesting concept of liquid consumption is association with tradition. One of the first questions I ask someone with a strong ethnic background is ‘what does your family drink at Christmas?’ The answer I usually receive is something I have never heard of, which to me, is the beauty of alcohol. Alcohol is translated so differently across the globe, yet has strong ties within each and every culture in very similar ways.
So, let’s talk Thanksgiving and Beaujolais. The association of the two is now quite well known, and heavily marketed in the United States. Many consider this a common option for their liquid of choice on Turkey Day, almost to the point where it is becoming a tradition. The most marketed is Beaujolais Nouveau, which is light, fruity and easy drinking. I would like to take that trend and introduce you to some amazing gems that the Nouveau push might have consumers over looking.
Beaujolais is a red wine from the Burgundy region of France, made from the Gamay grape. The nature of the grape is to be very thin skinned, with minimal tannin and high acidity. A few days ago I had the pleasure of tasting through a number of Beaujolais that surpassed the quality of any Nouveau I have ever had. After the tasting, I could not help but think that the heavily marketed Beaujolais Nouveau did some damage to mass perception of how far the Gamay varietal can be pushed. In specifics, the Cru Beaujolais region of Morgon is where I will take you. This region produces some of the richest, silkiest, most burgundian style Beaujolais, with aging abilities of at least five years. Would you not rather have a bottle of one of these on your table to fulfill your liquid traditions?
In giving all of you a little bit more direction, here is a well-priced wine that fits the bill amazingly well. Michel Guignier Cru Beaujolais “Bio-Vitis” from the Morgon region. The vines are sixty years old, with very low yields, producing a concentrated, deep flavor profile of the Gamay. This wine is then aged in oak barrels ‘on the lees’ for up to 13 months. ‘On the lees’, or also know as a process called malo- lactic fermentation adds a seductive, round mouth feel. With tasting notes of ripe dark fruit such as blackberries and black currant, and at $20 a bottle, it seems like an easy decision as to what’s on the table this Thanksgiving!
As always, consume responsibly through out this magical time of year, and enjoy your quality moments with the ones that matter most. Until next time, Cheers & Happy Holidays!
Andrew Sarubbi studied wine with the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa, California, as well as with the Sommelier Society of America in Manhattan, NY. Andrew is also a Certified Specialist of Spirits and an active member of the United States Bartenders Guild. He specializes in the Historical and Cultural references associated with all alcoholic beverages. Andrew has been the Manager of McKinney & Doyle Fine Foods since 2004, over seeing all things Restaurant related, including the buying and directing of the entire Beverage Program. Please direct all questions, comments and other feedback to Andrew@Mckinneyanddoyle.com