I love red wine - French reds to be precise. To be even more precise, I especially love Beaujolais Villages. It's a light, fruity wine made from the Gamay grape (unlike burgundies which are mostly from the pinot noir grape). Beaujolais wines don't last as long as the burgundies but they're eminently drinkable. They're a perfect mid-range wine and you can drink them with anything from fish to pizza to Kentucky Fried chicken. I do.
Today I stopped on my way home and picked up a bottle of Georges Duboeuf's Beajolais Villages. You know how you have a favorite brand of chocolate chip cookies or potato chips? Georges Duboeuf is my favorite producer of Beaujolais - his wines are always reliable and often far more than that - often they're exquisite. So I brought the bottle home, took out my corkscrew, picked up the bottle and to my dismay found I didn't need the corkscrew. Instead, the bottle opened with a twist of my hand - foiled by a screwtop. I have to admit that it scared me. But I poured a glass and it was as perfect as ever. First sip and I might have been in a small town in France, sitting in a cafe and drinking Beaujolais.
In the summer, I chill mine a little - not cold, but chilled. And then it's a perfect summer wine. What else can I say? Beaujolais Villages is the perfect wine. These wines are from one of the prettiest parts of France and grapes have been grown there since the 1st century when the Romans invaded Gaul and brought vines with them.
You can move up or down in price and quality with Beaujolais - down to Beaujolais, up to the crus of the region: Brouilly, Moulin a Vent, Fleurie, several more. These wines are much richer, darker, longer lasting - and definitely more expensive. I've tried all of them, either here or in France, and they're wonderful. My favorite? Fleurie.
Beaujolais Villages, though, always makes me dream of summer in France. It makes me think of fields of lavender and stone streets and outdoor cafes, sitting under the dappled shade of a few trees, eating jambon sandwiches and drinking wine. It makes me think of romance, of afternoon naps in a cool room with foot thick walls of thousand year old stones. It makes me fall in love.
What more could you ask of a wine?