Eric Asimov’s monthly Wine School column at the New York Times heads into its second installment. The first column focused on Bordeaux – giving me the perfect excuse to go hunting for one of my old favorites that had fallen off the shelf: Chateau Cantemerle. This month, the topic is another “B”: Beaujolais!
To recap what the Wine School serious is all about: it’s sort of like Oprah’s book club, but with booze. You can read the details yourself, but it’s very simple: each month, Eric will recommend a few specific wines, as well as the general category to consider if you can’t find the specific bottles. Then you drink them. He drinks them. We all drink them. And we all chatter about them online. The key thing here, is that we’re to drink them… not just taste them. But actually sit down with the bottle over a night or two, over a meal or two, and experience them. I’m as excited about this as anyone – because while I get to taste a lot of wine, but I don’t get to drink it as much as I like. So this will be a chance for me to stop and smell the roses… or, um… drink the grapes?
Another key thing –this exercise is not necessarily about liking the wine. It’s about experiencing the wine. The idea is to get a sense of how to think about wine, how to talk about it, and how to understand what you like and don’t like.
So this month, it’s Beaujolais. Eric makes three specific recommendations from the 2011 vintage and then refers readers to a recent review that sets up a broader range of options. This time around, we’re not going to go chasing down those exact bottles. We already have a slightly out of control Beaujolais section to select from. So if you can’t find his exact bottles, or don’t feel like hunting them down, we have some suggestions that will work quite well. Even though we do stock some of the producers from his 2013 review, we're sticking to the 2011 vintage he talks about in his columns.
Chateau Cambon Le Cambon Beaujolias-Village 2011:the lighter, happier side of Beaujolais. This plot was initially a joint project involving Marcel Lapierre and Jean-Claude Chanudet of Domaine Chamonard. It’s not officially part of the Morgon cru, but it shows a similar charming red-fruited happiness quality with this village and producer. Price: $23.99
Domaine des Cotes Moliere Moulin a Vent 2011: Dark berry fruits, mulberry skins, a touch of dusky minerality and texture that manages to be a touch silky and crunchy all at once. This wine shows off the darker, earthier side of Beaujolais. Price: $24.99
Go to the WINE page, search on BEAUJOLAIS, and these will pop up (among others. Feel free to buy multiples!)