Our 5 All-time Favorite Beaujolais Pairings
Beaujolais is one of the world’s most food-friendly wine categories. And guess what, some of the most coveted cru bottles come a price tag approachable enough to pull out for a weeknight dinner. Almost every bottle in our Beaujolais shop is under $100, with many under $50, $40, and even a few coming in at under $30!
Sommeliers have a penchant for Gamay-based Beaujolais because it generally goes with nearly any food. From Korean BBQ to steak frites to carnitas to pizza night, the refreshing character is highly satisfying. While it’s not hard to find a chillable glou-glou version, it’s equally possible to land Beaujolais with structure, elegance, or body. Here at Verve Wine we recommend it for people planning for a crowd — it’s a satisfying match to almost anything on the table. Here are our all-time favorite Beaujolais pairings. Dig in!
Fleurie + Roasted Chicken
Many of our favorite winemakers call this cru home, including Justin Dutraive, Yann Bertrand, and David and Michele Chapel. As its name suggests, wines from Fleurie lean on the floral side and are marked by flavors of rose petals, red fruits, violets, and sweet spice. These hauntingly aromatic bottles are beautiful in their youth, yet carry the potential to shine with a few years of age on them. When paired with a slow-roasted, herbal roasted chicken—game hen would also do nicely—this is an aromatic and rich match made in heaven.
Morgon + Steak Frites
Similar to Fleurie, this second-largest cru is home to a variety of well-known producers, including all members of Kermit Lynch’s ‘Gang of Four.’ Bottles produced in this natural wine epicenter are marked by powerful flavors of meaty cherries, plums, iron, and crushed stones. Although enjoyable on their own, wines from Morgon come to life when served with grilled red meats, roasted veggies, and a variety of French-inspired bistro favorites such as our winner, steak frites! Check out Marcel Lapierre or Jean Foillard for some of our favorite benchmark bottles.
Moulin-à-Vent + Mushrooms
Moulin-à-Vent wines are some of the most highly regarded bottles to come out of Beaujolais. The wines are known for their sturdy backbone, well-integrated tannins, and loads of natural acidity. Typical flavors found in Moulin-à-Vent wines are wild forest berries, crushed flowers, black pepper, and game. Moulin-à-Vent gets its name from the long-standing windmill monument located within the appellation. The earthy, peppery notes are a delight with rich mushroom dishes such as wild mushroom risotto and roasted mushroom polenta.
Juliénas + Glazed Ham
This next region gets its name from Roman emperor Julius Caesar, as vineyards have been cultivated in this area for over two millennia. Here, soils have higher proportions of clay, which create sturdy wines with solid structure. Wines from Juliénas are known for their flavors of ripe red fruits, crushed flower petals, and sweet spice. The majority of wines from Juliénas are best enjoyed a few years after their vintage date. We love Juliénas with a ham, hot from the oven and deeply glazed with sweet and smoky notes.
Brouilly + Salad Lyonnaise
This massive cru covers a fifth of the total surface area of Beaujolais and is generally broken down by its two major soil types (pink granite and marly limestone). Because of these two different terroirs, wines from Brouilly fall all over the flavor spectrum. Expect lighter, more acid-driven juice from granite terroirs, and more fuller-bodied expressions from limestone soils. For typical French bistro wine in one of its finest forms, pair it with classic dishes such as Salad Lyonnaise.
Though this list focuses on cru wines, don’t forget Beaujolais-Villages—a category packed with some of France’s most versatile values. From the finest wine lists to the most casual bistros to your home kitchen, Beaujolais has secured its spot. These favorites are classics, but there’s always room to play. For more on Beaujolais get the Verve Wine Guide to Beaujolais Wines.