Need a secret weapon in your wine arsenal? Don't tell anyone, but Gamay is going to be your new go-to, especially when you need to knock the socks off of your wine snob friends or a certain special someone.
What Is Gamay?
Gamay is the perfect variety for wine lovers who revel in taking things slow, soaking in their surroundings and savoring every last drop. It's a light-bodied red, but that doesn't mean it's short on personality. It's a well-balanced wine but one that takes a bit of focus to appreciate.
Where's It Produced?
Gamay has been around approximately forever, but thanks to a 14th-century decree by one seriously misinformed nobleman, this grape was banned from being grown in Burgundy. Although locals replaced their Gamay grapes with Pinot Noir, their southern neighbors in the Beaujolais region stayed loyal to Gamay. As a result, most Gamay hails from Beaujolais.
The saga doesn't end there, though. Some winemaking techniques that we're probably better off forgetting forced the quality and flavor of Gamay to take a turn for the worse in the mid-20th century. A few forward-thinking traditionalists rescued the classic Gamay techniques that many wine enthusiasts know and love. Today, it's easy to find bottles of Gamay that beautifully express the terroir.
As Gamay gains steam again, you'll increasingly find bottles from other regions around the world. Areas known for their cool climates, such as Canada, Oregon and New Zealand are starting to become Gamay hotspots.
What's It Taste Like?
Think deep, red fruit flavors like currant and raspberry. You'll notice hints of violet florals balanced with earthy notes of soil, too. This is a high-acidity wine that starts with a tart flavor and has an earthy, bitter finish.
Why You'll Love Gamay:
Since Gamay is growing in popularity around the globe, you'll notice a range of flavors depending on each bottle's area of origin. If you appreciate the earthy tones, you'll want to seek out Gamay bottles from Beaujolais.
Great Food Pairings for Gamay:
Does anything not go with Gamay? According to sommeliers, the high acidity, low tannin and intriguing flavor notes make Gamay a great pair for all kinds of cuisines. Roasting a chicken with herbs de Provence, slathering a steak with chimichurri sauce or dishing up a hearty bowl of shrimp and grits? What about roasted veggies and earthy cheeses? A glass of Gamay is always the answer.