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TIP OF THE DAY: Wine In Cans

When wine in cans and boxes were first broadly available in the mid-1990s, we tried a couple and turned up our nose. At that time, we were writing about fine wine, and just didn’t find canned wines worth our focus.

But American consumers flocked to canned wines. And, when “better” winemakers realized consumers liked them, they began to can some of their own wines.

The result: Sales of canned wine have been meteoric. In 2016 alone, there was a 125% annual increase in canned wine sales over the previous year.

While the category’s sales of $14.5 million in that period is small compared to total wine sales, it was a seven-fold bump over 2012, when canned wines were less than $2 million in sales.

Two years later, in 2018, canned wine sales had doubled to $28 million. Some winemakers have since found that more than 50% of their sales can be in canned wines.
 
 
HOW MUCH IS IN A CAN?

Depending on producer, canned wine is sold in three sizes:

  • 375 ml cans, equal to half a bottle of wine or 2.5 glasses
  • 250 ml cans, 1.5 glasses
  • 187 ml cans, 1 glass
  •  
    You can find wines in your favorite still wine grape varietals, in sparkling wines, and in wine coolers, depending on producer.
     
     
    THE BENEFITS OF WINE IN CANS

    First, let’s observe that you can pour the wine from a can into a glass (photo #1). Or you can drink from the can—with or without a straw (photo #2).

    1. Non-Breakable: No glass bottle to break if you accidentally whack it (and what a mess to clean up). If you drink from the can, there’s no glass to break or wash.

    2. Convenient: Easier and more lightweight to transport, and there’s no corkscrew required. Take cans to the beach, the barbecue, camping or just hanging out outdoors.

    3. Portion Control: Limit yourself to one can. There’s no open bottle for refills. In another vein, when we just want a small amount of wine and don’t have an open bottle, we grab a can to drink indoors; or open a can when we need to add a couple of tablespoons to recipes, drinking the rest.

    4. Environmentally Friendly: Aluminum is more likely to be recycled than glass. According to the EPA, only 26.4% of glass containers are recycled, whereas 54.9% of beer and soft drink cans get recycled. Aluminum weighs less to transport, which cuts down on carbon emissions and reduces the overall carbon footprint.
     
     
    BRANDS OF CANNED WINE

    Most of the canned wines are marketed under different names from the winery—or are wines canned by producers who just sell canned wine.

    As exists with wine in bottles, the company that cans/bottles and sells the wine, doesn’t make necessarily make it. They may buy ready-made wine from those who do.

    There are “straight” names like Brick & Mortar, Bridge Lane, Eufloria, Nomadica, omikai, Una Lou; and cheeky names that bring a smile, like Dear Mom, House Wine, The Infinite Monkey Theorem* and No Fine Print.

    The designs are nice, too: from charming to quirky to fun.
     
     
    Bonterra Organic Canned Wines

    One acclaimed vintner that’s proud to put its name on its canned wines is Bonterra, the number-one organic winery in the U.S.

    They grow the grapes, make the wine, bottle it, or alternatively, can it.

    The cans are a recent development for this Mendocino County winery, which has been making organic wines for more than 30 years.

    Most of the grapes they vinify are estate-grown on the vineyard’s 1,000 acres; the rest are sourced from nearby organic vineyards.

    We liked their canned Rosé so much that we gave the pink cans with pretty floral illustrations as Valentine gifts.

    In addition to the Rosé are cans of:

  • Crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
  • A blended red named “Young Red,” that’s perfect for casual warm weather, with a lighter body for summer fare and chilling.
  •  
    The 250-milliliter cans are sold in four packs for $17.99, which amounts to $6 per can.

    You can easily buy them online.

    For those who care about sustainability, Bonterra vineyards have been farmed organically since 1987—long before organic products were widely available in the U.S.

    The name means “good earth.” The company is committed to organic farming and regenerative practices that enrich the biodiversity in their vineyards.

    Here’s more about Bonterra.

    Let’s hear it for canned wines.
     
     
    HAVE A CANNED WINE TASTING PARTY

    One of the reasons we didn’t list individual brands is that each store will have its own selection of canned wine brands.

    For fun, pick up different brands and do a tasting to see which you like best.

    Time for a party!

     


    [1] Bonterra organic canned wines are sold in four-packs (photos #1 to #4 © Bonterra).


    [2] You can drink canned wine from the can, with a straw, or more elegantly, from a glass.


    [3] Bonterra’s trio of organic wines: Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc and Young Red.


    [4] You can add fruit and make wine popsicles. How about Rosé with blood orange, or Sauvignon Blanc with grapes?


    [5] When you want to monkey around: a can of The Infinite Monkey Theorem* (photo © The Infinite Monkey Theorem).


    [6] When you just want the house wine (photo © The Original House Wine).

     
    ________________

    *The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. Here’s more about it.

      

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    FOOD FUN: Candy Pop & Cookie Pop Popcorn: M&Ms, Oreos, Twix, Snickers & More


    [1] New Candy Pop Snickers (photos #1, #2 and #3 © Snack Pop).


    [2] The original: Cookie Pop with Oreos.


    [3] M&M Minis and popcorn.


    [4] A combo pack of individual servings, available at Sam’s Club (photo © Sam’s Club).

     

    Friends and family know that we don’t enjoy “newsstand” candy, with three exceptions (Hershey’s Peanut Butter Cups, Twix and York Peppermint Patties).

    The rest just have too much sugar and/or mediocre chocolate.

    Even M&Ms, the favorite of our youth, is unenjoyable to us. When the first thing you taste is sugar, well: not for us any longer.

    With a focus on fine foods, we’ve had the best artisan candy available, from chocolates to marshmallows to toffee.

    Now, there’s another exception we love: Candy Pop and Cookie Pop from Snack Pop. They get a round of applause from The Nibble.
     
     
    SNACK POP CANDY POP & COOKIE POP

    Candy Pop and Cookie Pop coat popcorn with favorite candy flavors.

    We often create a “movie mix” with popcorn, peanuts and M&Ms—we have friends who do the same.

    So why did it take so long for a blend like Snack Pops? They’ve combined popcorn with with popular candy brands they’ve licensed.

    The currently include Butterfinger Candy Pop, Chips Ahoy! Cookie Pop, Oreo Cookie Pop, Candy Pop made with TWIX® candy, Candy Pop made with SNICKERS® candy and Candy Pop made with M&M’S® Minis. 

    They’re only 150 calories per serving, low sodium, non-GMO and OU Kosher (Dairy).

    The latest is Snickers Candy Pop, now on shelves at Sam’s Club. Premium popcorn is drizzled to perfection with Snickers caramel and nuts. A 20-ounce party size bag is $5.98.

    Warning: We can single-handedly make the 5.2-ounce bags disappear in 15 minutes.
     
     
    WHERE TO GET SNACK POP

    Store Locator

    Buy Online From Snack Pop (5.2-ounce bags)

    Buy 3-Flavor Variety Box (no Oreo) From Sam’s Club (photo #4)
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF SNACK POP

    The concept for Cookie Pop came about in 2015, when Snack Pop company founder Frank Florio added Oreos to his popcorn.

    One bite told him that the combination of cookies and popcorn was a winner.

    It took a year, but Florio and his team were able to develop the first commercialized cookie-covered popcorn. It was introduced at a major food trade show in January 2016. Beyond their wildest expectations, Cookie Pop became an instant hit.

    The team then began work on expanding the line, and the delicious outcome is available in stores nationwide, plus online.

    Florio went on to co-found SNAX-Sational Brands, which also sells Bow Tie Puffs, Bow Tie Minis, Penne Straws, Pasta Bow Ties and Pasta Chips.

    Learn more at SNAXsationalbrands.com.
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF CANDY
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF POPCORN

     

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Stracciatella Cheese

    The creamy filling in burrata cheese is called stracciatella (strah-chee-ah-TELL-ah).

    Stracciatella consists of shreds of fresh mozzarella soaked in sweet cream.

    Stracciatella is a soft, white, creamy buffalo (or sometimes, cow’s) milk cheese* made with straccia (little shreds) of mozzarella. It may be that most people buy burrata instead of mozzarella for the creamy stracciatella†.

    It is now sold separately—just the creamy insides without the mozzarella. It provides new gustatory pleasures, as well illustrate below.
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF STRACCIATELLA CHEESE

    Stracciatella originated in southern Puglia. It was created around 1900 in the town of Andria by Lorenzo Bianchino, to use up mozzarella leftovers.

    As the story goes, after a big snowstorm Bianchino was unable to transport his milk and cream to the village. At the time, butter was wrapped in spun cheese paste to keep it fresher, longer.

    Bianchino tried the method with his cream, and decided to include some leftover scraps of cheese into the cream. The result was magic [source].

    It was a local product, premium priced, and remained the delight of the townspeople for some thirty years.

    In the 1950s, some of the local cheese factories began to produce burrata, and more people discovered its charms.

    Only the last 15 years or so, thanks to more economical overnighting of refrigerated products, did we find it in New York City’s finest cheese shops. It was love at first bite.

    And it is now made in the U.S., by dairies including BelGoioiso.
     
     
    HOW TO SERVE STRACCIATELLA CHEESE

    Soft and creamy, this fresh cheese pairs with both savory and sweet ingredients. It is becoming increasingly popular in numerous preparations:

  • Appetizer with sliced tomatoes and good bread.
  • Appetizer platter with cured meats, grapes, melon, peaches, roasted red pepper, tomatoes and a sprinkling of herbs, with a light white wine.
  • Bruschetta or crostini (the difference).
  • Canapés, with small spoonfuls atop artisan crackers; for dessert on chocolate wafer cookies with a raspberry garnish.
  • Dips and spreads.
  • Fruit salads (including citrus salad in the winter).
  • Grilled fruit.
  • Green salads and beet salads.
  • Ice cream: You can make a “double stracciatella” by combining the cheese with chocolate flakes (photo #4).
  • Pasta and pizza (photo #2)
  • Plain, drizzled with olive oil and garnished with crunchy sea salt and freshly-ground pepper and a crusty baguette or plain crostini; or sweet, with honey, jam or preserves, and/or fruit (photo #3).
  • Roasted vegetables.
  • Stracciatella Caprese, a Caprese salad with tomatoes and basil surrounding a mound of stracciatella.
  •  
    In general, serve stracciatella as you would burrata: with a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of cracked pepper. (Mini-Tip: To drizzle olive oil precisely on a smaller surface, we use a medicine dropper.)
     
     
    WHERE TO FIND STRACCIATELLA

    BelGioioso sells it in 8-ounce and 16-ounce tubs. Here’s a store locator

    Online specialists like Murray’s Cheese also carry it.
     
     
    RECIPES

    Substitute stracciatella for the burrata in these recipes:

  • Breakfast & Lunch Crostini
  • Crostini With Burrata
  • Grilled Grapes With Burrata
  • Burrata & Stone Fruit: Breakfast Or Dessert
  • Plum, Burrata & Pepita Salad
  • Spring Burrata Salad With Watermelon Radish
  • Spring Burrata Salad Recipe With Asparagus
  • Spring Peas & Burrata Salad
  • Watermelon, Tomato & Burrata Salad
  •  
     
    > THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CHEESE

    > A GUIDE TO CHEESE CONDIMENTS

    > HOW TO TASTE CHEESE

    > HAVE A CHEESE TASTING PARTY

     


    [1] If you like rich and creamy food, you may want to eat stracciatella from the jar (photo © Murray’s Cheese).


    [2] Pappardelle pasta with stracciatella and cherry tomatoes. Here’s the recipe from Stefania’s Kitchenette (photo © Stefania’s Kitchenette).


    [3] Savory with EVOO, salt and pepper, or sweet with honey. Kindred Restaurant in Davidson, North Carolina serves it with a variety of salads. Here, it’s garnished with buckwheat honey, pink peppercorns, Tuscan olive oil, viola flower petals and crunchy sea salt (photo © M. Blake Pope | Kindred Restaurant).


    [4] How about some stracciatella gelato? Here’s a recipe from Love & Olive Oil. Here’s another recipe for Strawberry Stracciatella Gelato (photo © Love & Olive Oil).

     
     
    ________________

    *Stracciatella means “rag”; straccia are little shreds. The name is derived from the Italian word “strattore,” which means to stretch. Mozzarella and stracciatella are both made by stretching the curd. The process is called pasta filata, meaning spun paste (in English it is called stretched curd, pulled curd or plastic curd—the technique is also called plasticizing). The technique consists of kneading the fresh curd in hot water, which gives the cheese its fibrous structure. Pasta filata varieties are made beyond Italy, from the halloumi of Cyprus to the queso oaxaca of Mexico (here are many more examples). Some varieties are aged, such as provolone and scamorza.

    †In addition to stracciatella cheese, there are two other “stracciatellas” in Italy. The first is stracciatella soup, an ancient Roman dish broth with a broken egg passed through a fork (shredded). The result looks like Chinese egg drop soup. There is also stracciatella gelato, vanilla gelato with fine chocolate shavings, similar to the chocolate flakes used in some American ice creams.

      

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    RECIPE: Peaches & Cream Cheesecake For National Peaches & Cream Day


    [1] Use fresh summer peaches to make this yummy cheesecake (photos #1, #2 and #3 © Domino Sugar).


    [2] Peaches are a wonderful topping with.


    [3] Domino’s new golden sugar is less processed and than white table sugar.


    [4] Off the tree, into the bowl (photo © Frog Hollow Farm).


    [5] Slice extra peaches for other desserts, from cake and ice cream to panna cotta; for pan sauces with chicken; and don’t forget breakfast cereal and pancakes (photo © California Olive Ranch).


    [6] You need three packages of cream cheese (photo courtesy Bay Business Help).

    Sour Cream
    [7] Plus 1/4 cup sour cream (photo © Wisconsin Dairy).

     

    National Cheesecake Day is July 30th. National Peaches & Cream Day is June 21st.

    How about combining a celebration with this delicious Peaches & Cream Cheesecake?

    While fresh peaches with heavy cream or peach ice cream are two of our favorites, the folks at Domino Sugar created this yummy recipe with its new Domino® Golden Sugar (photo #3). See more about it below.
     
     
    RECIPE: PEACHES & CREAM CHEESECAKE

    This recipe has a nut topping. If you don’t want nuts, you can omit a topping, or make additional peach puree.

    You can also dot the top with peach jam.

    Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 1 hour 10 minutes.

    Ingredients For The Crust

  • 1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened or melted
  • 2 tablespoons Domino Golden Sugar
  •  
    Ingredients For The Filling

  • 1 cup peeled and sliced peaches, divided (for puree)
  • 3/4 cup Domino Golden Sugar
  • 3 (8 -ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  •  
    For The Glazed Pecan Topping

  • 1/2 cup Domino® Golden Sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cups peeled and sliced peaches (for decoration)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the crust. Set a rack to the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray an 8-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan in foil to prevent leakage.

    2. COMBINE in a medium bowl graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar; stir to moisten crumbs. Press the crust into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the springform pan.

    3. BAKE in the center of oven for 6 minutes or until the crumbs just begin to brown. Remove from the oven and cool. Leave the oven on.

    4. MAKE the filling. Purée the peaches in mini food processor until smooth. Divide in half and set aside.

    5. BEAT the cream cheese in mixer bowl on medium speed. Gradually add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time; beat until light and whipped.

    6. BEAT in the vanilla, sour cream, and puréed peaches; then, stir in flour. Pour the mixture onto the prepared crumb crust. Set the pan on a baking sheet with sides.

    7. SET the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and pour 1/2 inch of hot water onto the baking sheet (the steam created from the water bath [bain-marie] will prevent the cheesecake top from cracking). Then, carefully push the rack in and close oven door.

    8. BAKE for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Bake for 1 hour or until set. The cheesecake is done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The cake should still jiggle a bit when moved.

    9. REMOVE from the oven and from the water bath and cool 45 minutes to one hour. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

    10. MAKE the glazed pecan topping— Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and water together in a sauce pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Fold in reserved peach puree and peach slices, bring mixture back to a boil, stirring constantly; then, reduce heat and simmer 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened and translucent. Do not overcook the peaches. Stir in lemon juice, remove from heat, and cool. Chill until ready to serve. To serve, arrange cooked peaches decoratively over top of cheesecake, allowing sauce to drip down the sides.
     

    PRODUCING SUGAR: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHITE & GOLDEN

    For people who want less processed food products, Domino Golden Sugar is made with a proprietary process, to be less processed than granulated white sugar, but without compromising performance or taste.

    The reason it’s less processed is because Domino Golden Sugar does not undergo color removal as does white sugar. Instead, it retains a hint of molasses that results in a beautiful golden color and less processing than granulated white sugar.

    The process of producing granulated white sugar consists of seven steps after obtaining raw sugarcane juices, whereas the process of producing Golden Sugar is only three steps—clarification, crystallization and drying.

    Compared with Domino Soft Brown Sugar and other brown sugars, Domino Golden Sugar is free-flowing like white granulated sugar.

    Brown sugar varieties retain much more moisture and are not free-flowing. Domino® Soft Brown Sugar has a darker color and heavier molasses flavor than Domino Golden Sugar.

    For more information on Domino Golden Sugar visit DominoSugar.com.
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF CHEESECAKE

     
    THE HISTORY OF PEACHES

    The peach originated in China and has been cultivated at least since 1000 B.C.E.

    It took some persistence on the part of the farmers to develop the luscious modern peach: The wild fruit is small, sour and very fuzzy.

    The peach has special significance in Chinese culture: The peach tree is considered to be the tree of life and peaches are symbols of immortality and unity. Peach blossoms are carried by Chinese brides.

    Peaches traveled west via the silk roads to Persia, earning them the botanical name Prunus persica.

  • In Persia, peaches were discovered by Alexander the Great, who mentions half a dozen types, and who introduced them to the Greeks.
  • By 322 B.C.E. Greece enjoyed the peach, and by 50 to 20 B.C.E., Romans grew and sold them for the modern equivalent of $4.50.
  • The Romans called the peach a Persian apple, and the name for peach in numerous languages is the name for Persia.*
  • Once the Romans cultivated the fruit, they were able to transport it north and west to other countries of their European empire.
  • Spaniards brought peaches to South America and the French introduced them to Louisiana.
  • The English took them to their Jamestown and Massachusetts colonies. Columbus brought peach trees to America on his second and third voyages.
  •  
    To this day China remains the largest world producer of peaches, with Italy second.

  • Italy is the main exporter of peaches in the European Union; the regions of Campania and Emilia Romagna account for more than 50% of Italy’s annual production.
  • California produces more than 50% of the peaches in the U.S. (and grows 175 different varieties).
  • South Carolina is the second largest grower. Although Georgia is nicknamed the Peach State, it comes in third [source].
  • ________________

    *Pêche (French), Pfirsich (German), pesca (Italian), melocotón (Spanish), pêssego (Portuguese), fersken (Danish/Norwegian), persika (Swedish), persikka (Finnish), persik (Russian), brzoskwinia (Polish), breskva (Serbo-Croat), piersica (Romanian), praskova (Bulgarian), robakinon (Greek), seftali (Turkish), afarseq (Hebrew), khúkh (Arabic), hulu (Persian), arú (Hindi), tao (Chinese), momo (Japanese), persik (Indonesian).
     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Beaujolais Wine Pairings For Summer & Year-Round

    For red wine lovers, Beaujolais, a wine-producing province in eastern France, produces mostly red wines from the Gamay grape.

    White and rosé wines are produced in small quantities. Here, we’ll focus on the reds.

    The province of Beaujolais lies in eastern France, from the northern part of the Rhône Valley to the southern part Burgundy.

    The granite soils lend structure and depth to the wines, which are light- to medium-bodied, supple and fruity, and lower in alcohol than most red wines.

    Almost all the wine produced in the region is red wine, from the Gamay Noir grape.

    It is relatively inexpensive, compared to other French reds—especially from next-door-neighbors Burgundy and Rhône.

    Beaujolais wines can pair with a broad variety of foods. We’ve provided popular pairings below.

    We’ve provided an overview here. Discover more at Beaujolais.com, The official website for Beaujolais wines.

    Planning a trip? Head to DiscoverBeaujolais.com
     
     
    TYPES OF BEAUJOLAIS

    There are three categories of Beaujolais wines: generic Beaujolais, which can be made from grapes grown anywhere in the province; Beaujolais-Villages, which must be made with grapes from the greater village area; and Beaujolais Cru, the top wines which have AOC† designation.

    There is also Beaujolais Nouveau, a unique category (see below).

    Except for the Cru wines, Beaujolais wines are meant to be drunk young. Don’t lay them down: They don’t get better with age (in fact, they decline if kept too long).

  • Beaujolais Nouveau is a unique category of very light, simple wines that are released shortly after harvest. They are not aged. The category was created in the 1970s by Georges DuBoeuf, one of the largest wine merchants in France, to generate cash up front while the “real” Beaujolais wines aged in barrels until March or later. It is so light that it should be a summer sipper, although it isn’t released until November—and should be consumed immediately after release. Here’s more about it.
  • Beaujolais Supérieur is harvested at riper levels and decreased vineyard yields, enabling more concentration of flavor. The grapes can come from anywhere in the province.
  • Beaujolais-Villages There are 38 communes (incorporated municipalities) that produce it; some include their village name on the labels, but most are simply designated Beaujolais-Villages. They should be consumed within two years of production.
  • Cru Beaujolais wines are the highest quality, AOC† wines. There are 10 cru* wines with AOC designation, each referring to a winemaking region: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Régnié, and Saint-Amour. The style ranges from lighter-bodied wines meant to drink young, to fuller-bodied wines that can be aged three to five years or longer.
  • In addition to the 10 crus, there are two “Appellation” wines that are good enough to have earned Cru status but without AOC designation. Their grapes are grown in different parts of the appellation than their associated Cru wine; they are referred to as Appellation wines (superior to Villages wines but subordinate to AOC). These are Chiroubles and Côte de Brouilly.
  •  
     
    BEAUJOLAIS & FOOD PAIRINGS

    Beaujolais is a wine that is enjoyed with any course of the meal, or by itself when you want a glass of red.

    They go well with French classics—pâtés, terrines, rillettes, saucisson sec—and with the cheese course, from white-rinded cheeses such as Brie and Camembert to more flavorful and pungent cheeses.

    You can drink Beaujolais with American favorites, from barbecue, burgers, chili and pizza to pairings you might not have considered, like sushi.

    And as a rule of thumb, you can serve anything off the grill with Beaujolais.

    While many wines are too acidic or tannic to pair with salad, Beaujolais is one that does, be it green salad or vegetable salad, or grain salad.

    While Beaujolais wines from the different communes can be served interchangeably, here are examples to pair with the Cru wines.

    AOC Beaujolais is wine from the village of Beaujolais, within the province of Beaujolais. The wines are intense, fruity, easy-drinking and refreshing. Try them with anything from a cold meat platter to Arctic char, salmon and sushi. There is also a white Beaujolais that is excellent with salmon and seafood.

    AOC Beaujolais-Villages
    AOC Beaujolais-Village is the next step up the quality ladder from appellation Beaujolais-Villages. The grapes are grown in higher quality sub-zones within Beaujolais. The wines are intensely fruity and scented; some have good cellaring potential. Try them with roast chicken or other chicken dish, say, chicken cooked in sauce with a potato gratin and grilled fish, such as Arctic char.

    AOC Côte-de-Brouilly is a fruity, sophisticated wine that is generally drunk between 2 and 5 years old, but it can be aged for 10 years or more. They wines are more robust red wines than the Brouilly villages wines, because the grapes are grown different soils. Locals drink it famous poultry liver terrine (try chicken, duck or goose liver). It also works with white fish, stews and a classic roast chicken, plus grilled lamb chops with rosemary.

    Appellation Brouilly produces wines with a deep ruby aroma and a palate that is fruitier than it is floral (think red berries and plums, with occasional mineral notes). The commune has four different types of soil, leading to different characteristics based on producer. Some consider Brouilly wines to be the most complex Beaujolais, yet it welcomes a cheeseburger or turkey burger.

    AOC Chénas grows on n the slopes above Moulin-à-Vent. The wines are soft on the palate, well-structured and a perfect pairing with blanquette of veal or poultry, and wild mushroom salad. They also go well with strong cheeses. Drink them with beef tartare or chili con carne, too.

    AOC Chiroubles is a very aromatic cru; a lively, rounded and delicate wine. Lightly tannic, it’s a very pleasant wine to drink casually with friends, serve with cold meats or light starters. In France, it’s popular with verrines and grilled fish too. Because of the low tannins, it also works with sushi and seared ahi tuna.

    Chiroubles a delicate wines that can be drunk right away, or aged for several years. The bouquet continues to evolve. Enjoy it with charcuterie and barbecue.

    AOC Fleurie is an elegant, delicate and floral wine; it is called the “feminine wine” of Beaujolais. They have a certain softness compared to other Beaujolais appellations: low acidity, gentle tannins. You can serve it with vegetable dishes, fish crudo, frog’s legs, salads and more substantive dishes, like grilled meat—especially lamb, from leg of lamb to grilled lamb chops with rosemary.

    AOC Juliénas, named after Julius Caesar, has grapes grown on sunny slopes. The juicy red wine pairs well with grilled red meat as well as seared ahi tuna.

    AOC Morgon is described by some as “the fruitiness of a Beaujolais and the charm of a Burgundy.” It robust and tannic, but not overly so. Try it with lasagne other hearty pasta, or pizza. It’s also great slightly chilled with a beef carpaccio or beef tartare, and grilled steak with garlic butter.

    AOC Moulin-à-Vent is one of the most prized crus, robust and complex with mature fruit, spice and floral aromas. It should be aged for 6 or 7 years to develop its full flavors for 6 or 7 years. Then, serve it with roast turkey and chestnut stuffing, pork, filet mignon, lamb and pork. Another popular dish is grilled steaks with garlic butter.

    AOC Régnié wines produce a unique fruitiness with fine tannins and a good finish. It’s best drunk young but, can be aged for up to 5 years. Popular pairings in the region are duck, leg of rabbit and red mullet. Serve it as an apéritif, at picnics, or with tapas.

    AOC Saint-Amour is celebrated as the wine of love (amour), and nearly a quarter of the production is drunk on February 14th (get some in advance before it sells out). Two different types of wine are produced in Régnié: a shorter maceration period for light, aromatic wines to be drunk shortly after the harvest (Beaujolais Nouveau) and a longer maceration wine with the structure and tannin to age for 4 to 5 years. Try it too with autumn and winter dishes, including risotto and pumpkin recipes. Also, spinach salad with bacon and pecans and barbecue.

     


    [1] Have Beaujolais with your burger (all photos courtesy Beaujolais | Facebook).


    [2] Beaujolais pairs well with pizza and pasta.


    [3] Vegetable dishes and French specialties like quiche are naturals with Beaujolais.


    [4] Beaujolais is a winner with grilled meats, roasts and similar preparations.


    [5] Beaujolais also pairs with seafood, from grilled fish to paella.


    [6] A classic: roast chicken and Beaujolais.


    [7] You might be tempted to reach for a white wine, but Beaujolais is delicious with this beet and citrus salad.


    [8] Nothing says love like a dessert of brownies and Saint-Amour Beaujolais.


    [9] The Beaujolais region in France (image courtesy Vinexpo-Explorer).

     
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    *Cru designates a vineyard or group of vineyards.

    †AOC is an abbreviation for appellation d’origine contrôlée, a certification granted to certain French geographical indications for superior wines, cheeses, butters, and other agricultural products. The designation guarantees, among other things, that the product originates from a specific region of France and has been produced in a traditional way. It is based on the concept of terroir and is a form of geographic protectionism. Terroir, pronounced tur-WAH, is a French agricultural term referring to the unique set of environmental factors in a specific habitat that affect a crop’s qualities. It includes climate, elevation, proximity to a body of water, slant of the land, soil type and amount of sun. These environmental characteristics gives the wine (or other product) its character.

      

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