A Huge Hooray for Beaujolais 02/09/11

Hi everybody! As you can see, a lot has changed around these parts since I spoke to you last. That’s right: Convicted for Grape has a brand new look (now 37% more professional!), a potential investor and even more surprises on the way – and it’s all thanks to the tireless efforts of my web design team.


Go team!

But don’t you worry your pretty little heads, because I’m still totally all about the wine. Today I’ll be introducing you to Beaujolais, a relatively underlooked (but really, not that underlooked) wine region in France. The wines of Beaujolais, while not as highly regarded as those of Bordeaux and Burgundy, are nevertheless extremely popular: light, fruit-forward reds usually meant to be drunk young, and almost always produced from the Gamay grape.

The Domaine Pral Cuvee Terroir 2009 Beaujolais caught my eye because I was looking to try a reasonably-priced Beauj (around $15) from a producer other than Louis Jadot or Georges Duboeuf, the two names that absolutely dominate the French aisles of the liquor stores I frequent. Like every loyal American, I’ve always been a fan of a good underdog story – but this holds doubly true when the dog happens to be potable.


God I’m thirsty.

nullIn the glass this poured a nice, half-clear crimson, which purpled a bit around the rim. The second I bent in for a sniff, I felt as though I’d been punched in the face by a red plum-infused gorilla. After giving the wine some time to breathe, however, distinctive rumblings of cherry and strawberry emerged from the underbrush, with the plum-rilla subsiding in their wake, possibly out of fear. On the palate this wine repeated the cherries and strawberries from earlier, adding in a nutmeg note for an enjoyably spicy finish.

True to Beajoulais form, this was light, fruity and easy to drink (but not in that unforgivable watered-down way I’ve railed against before). The balance was exceptional despite minimal tannins, with good acidity to match the wine’s fruitiness, and I paired it with some microwaveable Trader Joe’s mushroom risotto, which was actually pretty decent.

I award the Domaine Pral Cuvee 2009 Beaujolais thumbs up. If you can find it, it’s well worth a drink.

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