A grape varietal, used in the production of red wine, originating in the Beaujolais region of France. The grape is also grown in Austria and the United States (CA). Gamay varietal wines that are not produced in the Beaujolais region are labeled “Gamay”. Wines that are produced in the Beaujolais region from the Gamay varietal are typically labled “Beaujolais”. Although there are many grape varietals grown in California given the name Gamay, none are the true Gamay of France's Beaujolais region. Traditionaly, Gamay is a 100% varietal, though it is increasingly being used as a blend in Beaujolais regional wines.
Also known as: Gamay Noir, Jus Blanc, Gamay Noir a’Jus Blanc, Petit Gamai, and Bourguignon Noir.
Characteristics: A light hearted, light to medium bodied, crisp red wine. Wines made with the true Gamay varietal are typically low in tannin and alcohol, high in acidity with flavors of fresh fruit, cherries, strawberries, bananas and peaches.
Ageing: Most are drunk young, ageing 1 to 2 years. Also available in Nouveau, to be drunk immediately. Crus of Beaujolais is the only Gamay blend showing ageing potential of up to 10 years.
Serving temperature: Serve slightly chilled, 60º-65ºF.
Food pairings: bacon, cajun cuisine, calzone, cannelloni with ricotta, cannelloni with meat, chicken with garlic, BBQ chicken, spicy chicken, Chinese cuisine with beef, chicken chow mein, sushi with maguro tuna, Chinese garlic chicken, sweet and sour pork, moo shoo pork, vegetable couscous, meat couscous, steak and fish creole, egg dishes, Greek cuisine, hummus, Indian cuisine, Italian cuisine, Mexican cuisine, middle eastern cuisine, pâté, pasta, potato salad, cheese soufflé, southwestern cuisine, pizza, hamburger, sandwiches, and fish.