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Wine Blogging Wednesday 67 – Seeing Red For The First Time

Today marks the 67th Wine Blogging Wednesday (WBW).  Our host for this month is Joe Roberts of 1WineDude, and our charge for this month’s WBW – pick a red wine that we would use to introduce a white wine drinker to red wines for the first time.

This month’s WBW theme is timely… for a couple of reasons… One – this month’s theme provides an opportunity to showcase one of my favorite varietals – Gamay! Two – I am scheduled to host Wine Blogging Wednesday 68, and our theme for next month is ‘Got Gamay?(ok, I know, terribly cliché’d title, but Gamay will be a great subject for WBW)

A red wine for white wine drinkers?  No brainer – Cru Beaujolais – approachable, friendly, fruity, low tannins, and high acidity.  Not to be confused with the simpleton ‘nouveau’ wine popularized by George Duboeuf – you know, the ones with the bright, flowery, pretty labels intended to appeal to impulse (label) buyers.

Other than Pinot Noir, I can’t think of another varietal that comes close to being more suited for making the transition from white to red than Gamay.

Gamay is grown throughout the world, but the best expression of the grape comes from the Beaujolais region of France (just my opinionated opinion), and in particular from the ten Crus (villages) of Beaujolais – Brouilly, Regnie, Chiroubles, Cote de Brouilly, Fleurie, Sant-Amour, Chenas, Julienas, Morgon, and Moulin-a-Vent.

Although I feel all Cru Beaujolais is a good place to start in terms of introducing a white wine drinker to red wine, there are a few Crus especially well suited for the new red wine drinker.  Each of the 10 Crus produce Beaujolais with notable differences – the Crus of Brouilly, Regnie, and Chiroubles tend to produce lighter bodied juice, which may make them the best place to start for introducing the white wine drinker to red wine for the first time.  For me personally, I am partial to fuller bodied examples of Beaujolais from the Moulin-a-Vent area.

In the spirit of sticking with this month’s theme, I went with a wine from the Regnie Cru, known for lighter bodied Beaujolais.

George Descombe Regnie 2007 Imported by Louis/Dressner, this bottl was a reasonable $18.77 at Basic Necessities near Wintergreen, VA.  Purple-reddish in color, this wine had a nose of fresh flowers, spice, dark cherry, and loads of mineral.  Heavier than expected body, surprising for a Regnie.  Tart cherry, violets,  and mineral in the mouth.   Damn good acidity! This would make a great starter wine for the red wine newbie.

If you’re looking for an intro red wine with a lower price point, one can trade down a notch and go with a Beaujolais-Village wine.  I’d recommend the Louis-Jadot 2008 Beaujolais-Village which carries an exceptional $8.97 price tag (previous post here).

Hat tip to Joe for a cool theme for this month, and to Lenn Thompson for keeping WBW going for over five years!  I hope everyone reading – especially the Gamay doubters – will participate in next month’s Wine Blogging Wedneday, ‘Got Gamay?’  Formal WBW 68 announcement coming soon.