The wines from this region are always worth looking out for on a wine list

John Wilson: ‘Good, inexpensive Beaujolais is juicy and refreshing’

Beaujolais is one of my all-time favourite wines. It can be joyous and thirst-quenching, or serious and complex. Most are light enough to be enjoyed as an aperitif yet go very well with a wide variety of foods. For this reason, it is always worth looking out for them on restaurant wine lists.

Good, inexpensive Beaujolais is juicy and refreshing, perfect served cool as an aperitif. Beaujolais Villages will typically be a step up in both quality and price. Then there are the 10 crus, the best villages. Some, including Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent are well-known names, others such as Régnié and Chiroubles, are less familiar. Each commune has different soils (usually some form of granite) that gives the wine a distinctive personality. Moulin-à-Vent is structured and tannic with plum fruits, Fleurie is more aromatic with lush fruits. Beaujolais comes in white and rosé too; the white wines can be very good indeed.

It wasn’t easy choosing four wines of the week. Going through my notes I see I have tasted dozens of really great Beaujolais over the last year, although many seem to have sold out. This is a welcome change from a few years ago when availability was very limited. The Beaujolais region was going through a crisis and falling demand. Led by the natural wine movement, the region has reinvented itself and now has dozens of emerging high-quality artisan producers.

Other Beaujolais worth seeking out include Vissoux (Terroirs) Vieux Bourg (Whelehan’s) Bouland (Grapevine), Domaine de Nugues, Gregoire Hoppenot, Frederic Berne, Ch. Thivin, and Ch. des Jacques.


As for food, Beaujolais will happily sit alongside most meats, cheeses and other foods, including all of those mentioned below.

M&S Classics No. 35 Beaujolais Villages 2020

14%, €15

Delectable clean vibrant red cherry fruits. Serve cool with charcuterie and toasted almonds.

From: Marks & Spencer

Beaujolais Villages Domaine de la Madone

12.5%, €16.95

Crunchy fresh raspberries and cherries with a refreshing bite.

From: Mitchell & Son, D1, Sandycove, Kilmacanogue; JJ O’Driscoll, Cork;; Sweeneys ,D3; 1601 Kinsale; World Wide Wines, Waterford; Next Door ,Clonakilty.

Moulin-à-Vent Domaine des Terres Dorées 2021, Jean-Paul Brun

13.5%, €29.95

An amazing concentration of savoury juicy dark fruits, with plenty of structure. Drink now with steak or aubergine lasagne or keep a few years.

From: Wines Direct, Mullingar.

Morgon “Corcelette” 2021 Louis & Claude Desvignes

12.5%, €31

Fragrant and elegant this has delicious piquant red summer fruits. Try it with roast chicken or firm cheese.

From: Drink Store, D7; Green Man, D6W; Martin’s, D3; Redmond’s, D6; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock.