Gamay and the Beaujolais



  • France: Beaujolais, Mâconnais
  • Canada: Niagara Peninsula
  • Switzerland


  • Light, fruity and easy, goes with light food and is enjoyed by a wide audience


  • Decanting – no
  • 13 °C (55 °F)
  • Pinot Noir/ Burgundy glass with a wide bowl


  • Cold dishes, salads, tuna, salmon, sushi, roasted chicken
  • Brie, Cheddar, Camembert, feta, Edam


Gamay is the grape behind the fruity Beaujolais red wine which is mainly found in Beaujolais in Burgundy, close to Lyon. It is a grape that is similar to Pinot Noir with thin skins and light in tannin however not as difficult to grow.

Beaujolais are meant to be consumed young. Because Gamay is so low in tannin, it is not always suitable for aging and in many cases should be drunk young, within 6 months. However for great vintages and Cru wines, a good Beaujolais can age from 3 to 10 years.

In terms of alcohol, Gamay produces wine that is low in alcohol content ranging between 10.5% and 12.5%.

Beaujolais vs Beaujolais Nouveau


  • There is Cru Beaujolais (better quality) and Beaujolais Village
  • Harvesting is done by hand
  • Can be drunk young but can also age for up to 10 years
  • Cru Beaujolais will often only have the name of the Cru on the bottle rather than the actual word Beaujolais
  • The 10 Crus: Morgon, Brouilly, Moulin à Vent, Juliénas (slightly fuller in body), Fleurie, Côte de Brouilly, Régnié, Chiroubles, Saint Amour, Chénas, Côte de Brouilly (lighter in body)
  • Notable vintages: 2014 – 2017

Beaujolais Nouveau

  • Beaujolais AOC but excluding grapes from the 10 Crus
  • Released every 3rd Thursday of November only 6 to 8 weeks after harvesting
  • Meant to be drunk young within 3 months, in special cases like the 2000 vintage, it can be aged
  • Made through a special method called carbonic maceration where the grapes are not pressed before fermentation. This maintains the fruit notes without adding the tannins from the contact with the skins
  • Harvesting is done by hand
  • Notable vintage: 2000


Beaujolais, 2019

  • Country and region: France, Beaujolais, Saint-Amour
  • Producer: Mommessin
  • Blend: Gamay
  • Alcohol content: 14%
  • Tasting notes: black fruit, blackcurrant, blueberry, spice, chocolate, well-structured, soft tannins, long finish.