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While editing the South West episode of my podcast this weekend, Camel Valley’s Sam Lindo brought an article to my attention. Jamie Goode’s ‘Natural wine, a primer’ is a really great read on the subject and one that might put a lot of conflicts and discussions around the ambiguous term to rest. Then again, the article is six years old so perhaps there’s still some work to do.
It’s Beaujolais Nouveau day this Thursday. Those with more advanced planning than myself might opt for the Beaujolais Nouveau Breakfast at Gordon’s - sounds like great fun for anyone with the day off. Those who don’t know what the day is, scroll down to Learn.
Wine rankings were put to the test for me this week in Lidl. They quite helpfully label a lot of their wines with wine rankings. I’m not sure whose they are, but I picked a few choice bottles to taste.
Coteaux Bourguignons (£6.99) is another win for a white Burgundy from Lidl. Not quite as soft and enchanting as their Macon-Villages which I've previously tasted, but another nice surprise nonetheless. Lemon, and tart apple filled my nose, though there’s a slight sourness hung in the back of the throat.
The Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017 (£6.79) is ridiculous value. It’s more fruit forward than a typical Burgundy, but there’s a rugged, earthiness to it that Old World pinot fans should still love.
Régnié Cru Beaujolais (£7.99) is more of a miss than a hit for me. The nose is interesting: warm raspberry, spicy pepper, and a slight herbal note that nods towards the Rhône. Unfortunately the palate lacked balance: mouth strippingly dry, surprisingly tannic, and powerfully alcoholic meant any nuance was lost. Food or chilling a must. Not an aperitif wine.
I was, to be honest, getting quite tired of supermarket selections in the sub-£10 bracket, but Lidl has really restored my faith in the mass-available, affordable tipple.
Beaujolais Nouveau Day is always the third Thursday of November. It is a day to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau: a wine fermented for a very short period of time to be released very young and early.
Throughout the mid-20th century the Day gained popularity as a marketing exercise. Producers benefited from the cash flow injection early in their year, while wine drinkers enjoyed the excitement of the wine arriving into Paris shortly after midnight on the day.
The Beaujolais Crus are all excluded meaning only village-level AOC wines available to be made. A lot of wine bars around England will have something on for it: check in with your local bar or merchant and go have a glass. And for those with the stomach for it, let me know how Gordon’s goes.
This is the process where you will soak the grapes, seeds and skins in the winemaking process. The effect gives colour, tannins and aromas into the final wine. There are different types of maceration which will affect the overall way the wine tastes, and will likely be affected by the winemakers’ style.