Gamay, nearly the only grape grown in France’s Beaujolais region, makes wines that embody everything that region is known for: light, fruity, easy-to-drink reds, ideal for a party or a picnic.


Typically these wines are not aged in oak barrels and are released early. (Beaujolais Nouveau, which appears on shelves little more than a month after the grapes are harvested, is the extreme example.) Beaujolais from the region’s ten crus, however, can be wonderfully structured and some can even age. Little Gamay is grown outside of Beaujolais, but what has been planted pairs well with the same foods as Beaujolais: light chicken dishes, salads, cheeses and charcuterie.

Fruity, Light-Bodied Beaujolais/Gamay

Chicken in Red Wine Vinegar
Credit: © Frances Janisch

Top Bottles

  • Brunet Domaine de Robert Fleurie (France)
  • Georges Duboeuf Jean Descombes Morgon (France)
  • Brick House Gamay (Oregon)

The following wines pair particularly well with grilled salmon:

Recipe Pairings

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