It has been said by many a wine expert that Beaujolais can go with any food that you put in front of it. Beaujolais is a region in France, and their wines are primarily made of Gamay grapes. The body is light, so it can stand up to fish, spicy sauces, and lighter dishes. The flavor is bold so it can stand up to the acidity of a marinara or the density of a red meat. This is why it supposedly can basically go with anything. I take that as a challenge! I found three drastically different dishes this week, and I will test to see if Beaujolais has the versatility to withstand three different flavor profiles.
To start, the Beaujolais that I chose was Jean-Marc Lafont Fleurie Granits Roses ($19). The body was light, but the flavor was quite amazing. The aromas were quite floral and “pretty”. The taste was more full of raspberry, cola, white pepper, and a medium amount of dry tannin, making the body appear fuller than it really is. The experience of the wine, through scent and taste, was a wonderful combination. The floral smells mixed well with the more dry and spicy tastes. Let’s see if it is enough to stand up to the food I pair with it!
Dish #1: SkinnyTaste’s Maple Soy Glazed Salmon with Brussels Sprouts
This dish is wow. The wine was pretty close to wow. The pairing? 3 Grapes. It neither enhanced nor lessened this meal. They both tasted as they did without each other. Regardless, I am pretty proud of this picture 🙂
Dish #2: A random concoction of coconut crusted chicken fingers and Brussels Sprouts. I followed no recipe; just used frozen chicken breasts and roasted sprouts. I added a side of Barbecue sauce and spicy mustard.
The dish was good with the barbecue sauce and/or mustard. Without these sauces, the pairing was 3 grapes for the same reasons as the previous dish…they did not add to one another. However, with the side sauces, which had some kick to them, the pairing was 4 grapes. Perhaps Beaujolais is better for spicier/sweeter foods?
Dish #3: The Recipe Critic’s Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef (I added Sriracha sauce)
4 grapes! The food was delish, as was the wine, and they did pair well, but next time I cook this dish or have this wine, I may not put them together. However, they were better than average. The wine brought out the sweetness of the sauce, whereas the sriracha brought out the raspberry and cola of the wine.
Conclusion thus far? Beaujolais could be had with any food, but may not be the most fantastic pairing with any food. It certainly goes well, so if you have a bottle of Beaujolais, rest assured that it will not clash with what your eating. I will most certainly try this challenge again to see what else Beaujolais can withstand.
Wine: Chain Bridge Cellars