Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The world is conspiring to get me to drink Beaujolais

Ever since I read Dottie and John's column last week about Beaujolais, I've been craving it. It's an oft-ignored region in the Southern part of Burgundy, and concentrates solely on the gamay grape, which produces very soul-full, easy to enjoy, character driven red wines. The basis of their column was the recommendation that instead of buying one bottle for someone as a holiday gift, to give them a mixed case of Beaujolais instead. Incidentally, I think the idea is brilliant, and if someone were to present me with a present like that, the word thanks would not even begin to describe the superfluous gratitude that would gush from my lips.

Anyway, ever since reading the column, and being on this new re-discovering my palate kick, I've been dying to get my lips around some Beaujolais. Luckily, I have a wine-industry girlfriend, Lily, here in San Francisco that is also, let's say, under-employed at the moment and up for bopping around the city and checking out wine places together. So yesterday afternoon we hit Arlequin Wine Merchant in Hayes Valley to dish over coffee and peruse the shelves.

After chatting a bit with the knowledgeable and crush-worthy manager, I asked how they were stocked on Beaujolais. (By the way, I hope none of you are confusing what I'm talking about with Beaujolais Noveau, which drops any day now. Shame on you if you thought I'd go on a hunt for that stuff.) With a smile he led me to a three case stack at the front of the store that was so new into inventory it hadn't even been priced yet. I beamed at the simple, pretty bottle in my hand and left the store a happy girl.

Lily and I parted ways for a few hours, me to continue scouting wine stores, her to perfect a letter that would further her cause of being hired on by Huia to work the upcoming harvest in New Zealand. A few hours later we met back up to check out Terroir, a wine bar in SOMA famous for being ruthless in their pursuit of wines that, well, express the terroir of the region that they are from.

I got there first and sidled up to the wooden bar, drinking in the atmosphere. It was an incredibly cool space that reminded me of a modern saloon. There is pale wood everywhere, and the decor is masculine and rustic. Instead of a hidden iPod serenading the crowd, one corner is devoted to a collection of vinyl that the owners took turns changing and playing with.

As soon as I sat down the Frenchman behind the bar asked me "Red or white?"

"Red," had barely escaped my lips when he said, "How do you feel about something on the light side? This one is made from gamay..."

Damn if he wasn't pouring me a sip of Beaujolais.

The wine was the 2007 La Pierre from Morgon, a Kermit Lynch selection. It was ruby red and fruity, with a beautiful earth on the mid palate and an easy, pleasant finish. I sipped happily and quickly fell in love with the wine bar.

Tonight I'll be trying the bottle I bought in the store with the seared scallops and fresh veggies awaiting me at the boyfriend's place for dinner. Something tells me that this Beaujolais kick is going to be a good thing all around.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ahahah!!!!!! you already have a wine blog!!!!!thanks for drinking beaujolais,cheers

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

Who is this?? Reveal yourself!! :)

7:42 PM  
Anonymous saignee said...

I am of the opinion that everyone needs to drink more gamay in non-nouveau form. You should also try the Clos Roche Blanche from Touraine next time you are at Terroir. It is stylistically much different from the Morgon.


10:10 PM  

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