Gamay is the Beaujolais grape, and, as such, carries with it an innate inferiority complex next to the red burgundy grape, Pinot Noir.

Quick Links: Burgundy en Primeur | Burgundy Wine Region | Decanter travel guide: Beaujolais, France


It’s a pity because when it’s good, Gamay can make a deliciously, gushingly juicy everyday red with a refreshing nip of acidity and flavours ranging from strawberry and cherry to hints of banana. In the ten Beaujolais crus, it’s also capable of making a more serious, ageworthy red.

Also grown with moderate success in the Loire, Switzerland and former Yugoslavia and known for some strange reason in California as Valdiguié.

SEE ALSO: Beaujolais: revival of the fittest | Top 2013 cru Beaujolais reds | Beaujolais crus to identify all climats by 2016

What does it taste like?

Gamay, the beaujolais grape, is the gluggiest of all grape varieties, partly because of the carbonic maceration or whole berry fementation method used, which helps preserves the naturally refreshing juiciness of the variety. Carbonic maceration is responsible for a variety of aromas and flavours ranging from bubblegum and banana through to strawberry and cherry.

Food Matching with Gamay: Rolled pig’s head | Michel Roux Jr: Rabbit Pâté en Croute – Recipe | Paccheri with tomato sauce and Parmesan | Roast guinea fowl with figs in a cream sauce

Updated by Jeanne Thexton on the 7th of January 2016
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